Motoring / Cars and Bikes

1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic

Arguably one of the most expensive and exclusive all-black Bugatti 57SC Atlantic cars ever made in the 1930s, this car edition is loved the world over even till today.

Feb 05, 2018 | By Andrea Sim


1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic

Arguably one of the most radically beautiful and exclusive all-black Bugatti 57SC Atlantic cars ever made in the 1930s, this car edition is loved the world over since it was first introduced by Bugatti in 1936. Notable for its gigantic body style, the Type 57SC Atlantic appeals more like a sculptural piece, exactly the same as any sculpture that would go on display in the museum. While the first example produced was finished in silver and made its debut at the 1935 Paris Motor Show.

Currently listed for sale by a private seller on Hemmings for $40,000, one of the world’s largest car collectors, this 1936 Bugatti Atlantic Type 57SC features a manual transmission, a tear-drop shape body style, a powerful engine, and lightweight construction influenced by aircraft styling, which was designed by  Jean Bugatti, Ettore’s son.

The 57SC prototype chassis with original vin plate number 57218

The Type 57SC is a faithful replica from galvanised steel on a real 57SC prototype chassis with original vin plate number 57218. It is handmade with over 12,000 man hours and the vehicle is said to be in excellent condition. Very few of these beautiful prewar automotive example managed to survive and make it to the present age. It’s not exactly a rare, vintage car as this example has gone through a few variations.

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante Coupes

Only seven of these rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante Coupes were manufactured. One of which was sold for $7.92 million at Gooding & Co.’s auto auction during the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.

1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic with chassis Number 57591

Pictured above is a Ralph Lauren’s 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic with chassis Number 57591, which is a redesigned version. It carried the letter “S” in Type 57SC, representing “surbasisse” a French word which means “lowered”.

The Type 57SC Atlantic features a gigantic frame, with a lowered example, featuring also a raked-windscreen, kidney-shaped doors, enormous curved wheel arches, both front and back, long front bonnet, with decent luggage space and a spacious interior.

Powered by 8-cylinder engine as well as a twin overhead camshafts with speeds of 200kph, the design styling was made as penned by Jean Bugatti, Ettore’s son, to reference the Aerolithe, a much more earlier concept car that was fashioned out of magnesium alloy, also used in the manufacture of the aircraft.

Perhaps, what makes this Ralph Lauren’s Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic special is its shiny exterior plus the divider made from a special material that runs through the cockpit area and that segregates the windscreen. This buyer was anonymous but Ralph Lauren is certainly one of the other two very lucky owners.

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