Bugatti Pay Homage To Missing Type 57 SC Atlantic In Molsheim

Bugatti La Voiture Noire - Molsheim
Bugatti La Voiture Noire - Molsheim

Bugatti provided some overdue Christmas cheer last week at the home of the legendary automakers family in the city of Molsheim as the brand exhibited their Bugatti La Voiture Noire – safely locked in a glass container.

Paying homage to the missing Type 57 SC Atlantic and maintaining a certain level of festivity, the French luxury brand decided to offer a special presentation that will be on exhibit right next to the beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Since last week, passers-by have been able to marvel at the Bugatti La Voiture Noire in its carefully guarded display case.

Laurent Furst, Mayor of Molsheim at the inauguration of the glass container:
I am very grateful to Bugatti for this wonderful gift to our city. Now all residents of Molsheim have the very special opportunity to admire this unique masterpiece, the “La Voiture Noire”, of which Ettore Bugatti would certainly have been very proud.

Bugatti La Voiture Noire - Molsheim

La Voiture Noire will be exhibit in the Molsheim city centre until the end of March. It is the show car of the one-off model, which celebrated its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show last year to mark the 110th birthday of the Bugatti brand.

Christophe Piochon, Site Manager who was also present at the inauguration of the installation said:
The Bugatti brand originated here in Molsheim, the city in which Ettore Bugatti founded his brand and started to manufacture his own automobiles more than 110 years ago. Molsheim thus became the cradle of our success – a success that continues to this day.

Of course, nothing can replace the Molsheim Christmas market. However, it is important for us to bring joy to people from the region in these difficult times.

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The Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic – 80 Years Old

Bugatti La Voiture Noire - Molsheim

Type 57 SC Atlantic

The hyper sports car, which has already been sold for 11 million euros (net), pays homage to the legendary Type 57 SC Atlantic by Jean Bugatti, which went missing at the beginning of the World War II and was never found again.

Only four of these incredibly rare cars were created between 1936 and 1938. Three of these extraordinary coupés are still in existence. They are now regarded as the most valuable and desirable classic cars in the world.

Bugatti 'Holzschuh Atlantic'

Bugatti built the first model for British banker Victor Rothschild, originally without a supercharger, in grey-blue. This vehicle, with chassis number 57 374, is now known as the “Rothschild Atlantic”.

Bugatti 'Rothschild Atlantic'
Bugatti ‘Rothschild Atlantic’

The “Holzschuh Atlantic”, the third car built, with chassis number 57 473, was delivered to Jacques Holzschuh of France in October 1936. The second owner of the car, a collector, died in an accident on a level crossing. The Bugatti was completely destroyed. Decades afterwards, it was the subject of a complex restoration, although the engine could not be saved.

Fashion designer Ralph Lauren is the owner of the last Atlantic produced, with chassis number 57 591, the “Pope Atlantic” completed in May 1938 – its first owner was the Briton R.B. Pope.

Bugatti 'Pope Atlantic'

Jean Bugatti had the second Atlantic made for himself. Only he or a few selected friends, mainly Bugatti racing drivers, had the honour of sitting behind the large steering wheel of the coupé with chassis number 57 453.

Bugatti 'La Voiture Noire'
‘La Voiture Noire’ – The missing Bugatti

Bugatti used “La Voiture Noire” (the black car) with a front bumper and lower doors as a model for photos in brochures and a demonstration car for international motor shows such as those in Lyon and Nice.

In contrast to the other models, there is no trace of this car after 1938. It is not quite clear whether Jean Bugatti sold the car to a racing driver among his friends or whether it was moved to a safer region of France when the German army invaded Alsace, which is more probable.

However, one thing is clear – the second Atlantic built has not been found to this day. Its disappearance is one of the great mysteries in the history of the automobile. Experts estimate the value of the Atlantic at more than €100 million – if it ever appears again.