Perfection is a difficult commodity to acquire but Bugatti has come close over the last 110 years.
It was the legendary Ettore Bugatti who said perfection can never be achieved, but when it came to construction, technical aesthetics, sophistication, quality and design of his vehicles, Bugatti were certainly shooting from the hip.
Famous and legendary automobiles such as Type 35, Type 41 and Type 57 are all testament to that very epithet.
Type 57 SC Atlantic
One car in particular, the coupe Type 57 SC Atlantic, that was produced a mere four times stands out. It’s a medley of power, sportiness, luxury and elegance – the design of a century and one of the most valuable vehicles in the world. About eighty years ago the Atlantic set the base for the current Bugatti hyper super sports cars Chiron1, Chiron Sport and Divo2.
Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann said:
“Ettore and Jean Bugatti were perfectionists and pioneers in the quest for superior power-to-weight ratio and sophisticated refinement. That can be seen in every model, the Atlantic in particular. We are continuing this tradition.
“It has always been our aspiration to approach perfection as much as humanly possible, in the spirit of Ettore Bugatti. As a French luxury brand, we owe it to our tradition and to our customers.”
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The Type 35 was what Bugatti presented in 1924 as the racing car that was powerful, fast and above all, beautiful. The for-those-days wide track and long, tapering tail gives it a sporty look even for today’s standards. Up until the mid-1930s, the Type 35 won nearly 2000 races, making it the most successful racing car of all time.
The Type 41 Royale gave exclusivity and to this day ranks among the most luxurious and comfortable cars in the world. His handcrafted bodies, some by Jean Bugatti, were and still remain the most beautiful brass works. Only six models were created between 1928 and 1933; each a unique design masterpiece with a 12.8 litre eight-cylinder in-line engine and a power output of 300 hp.
It was with the Type 57 SC Atlantic that from 1936 onwards Jean Bugatti created the perfect combination of sports car and luxury car. When it comes to driving, it is an eight-cylinder in-line engine, supercharged up to 200 hp, which powered the coupe to a top speed of mor than 200 km/h. It was a sports car ahead of its time with the comfort of a Grand Tourisme, unique in design performance and workmanship.
A remarkable feature is the comb that runs vertically from the hinge of the divisible bonnet in the rear end and is decorated by rivets. In the prototype model the body was made of electron, a magnesium-aluminum alloy that couldn’t be welded. This is the reason behind the riveting of the body panels leading to the creation of such unique lines. It is nothing short of a design manifesto, winning several awards in international design competitions for historical automobiles such as the California Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.