In Pictures: 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic

NEW YORK | Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 2:12pm EDT

The 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is famous in its own right, having earned the ‘Best of Show’ at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. While it is certainly amongst the most beautiful cars in the world, it’s officially the world’s most expensive one. This year, it was sold for a record price of nearly $40 million.

  • In 1936, when this Bugatti rolled out of the factory, it was the world’s fastest production automobile. It was powered by a 3.2-liter straight-8 engine, capable of 210 horsepower and a top speed of 130 mph. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlogIn 1936, when this Bugatti rolled out of the factory, it was the world’s fastest production automobile. It was powered by a 3.2-liter straight-8 engine, capable of 210 horsepower and a top speed of 130 mph. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog
  • "This particular Type 57SC Atlantic is by far the most original car available. Up close, it's easy to see the imperfections of this car. For example, the rivets that hold the "backbone" in place are unevenly spaced. Even so, the car is in incredible condition and most would likely assume it had undergone a complete restoration." Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog"This particular Type 57SC Atlantic is by far the most original car available. Up close, it's easy to see the imperfections of this car. For example, the rivets that hold the "backbone" in place are unevenly spaced. Even so, the car is in incredible condition and most would likely assume it had undergone a complete restoration." Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog
  • "The most expensive cars in the world always seem to have an air of mystery about them. The new owner of the car remains a mystery, as well as the price that he/she paid for it. The same can be said for many of the world's most expensive cars. Most of the high-end sales are done behind closed doors, with the buyer and transaction amount going unannounced." Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog"The most expensive cars in the world always seem to have an air of mystery about them. The new owner of the car remains a mystery, as well as the price that he/she paid for it. The same can be said for many of the world's most expensive cars. Most of the high-end sales are done behind closed doors, with the buyer and transaction amount going unannounced." Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog
  • "Cars like the Atlantic rarely change hands, and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when one does come up for sale. This particular car has only had three owners since 1945. When it last sold back in 1971, the $59,000 price tag set a world record. Looks like things haven't changed much since then." Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog"Cars like the Atlantic rarely change hands, and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when one does come up for sale. This particular car has only had three owners since 1945. When it last sold back in 1971, the $59,000 price tag set a world record. Looks like things haven't changed much since then." Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog
  • In the multitude of millions of dollars worth of cars at Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, CA., there is one car that stood out from all the others – Peter Williamson's 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlogIn the multitude of millions of dollars worth of cars at Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, CA., there is one car that stood out from all the others – Peter Williamson's 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog
  • "The Type 57SC Atlantic was revolutionary for both its design and its technology. The hand-formed aluminum teardrop body remains one of the most unique automotive designs in history, and the center spine actually connects the two halves of the body together. The car also featured items like 15-inch drum brakes and advanced shock absorbers." Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog"The Type 57SC Atlantic was revolutionary for both its design and its technology. The hand-formed aluminum teardrop body remains one of the most unique automotive designs in history, and the center spine actually connects the two halves of the body together. The car also featured items like 15-inch drum brakes and advanced shock absorbers." Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog
  • "The performance stats of the Type 57SC Atlantic don't seem impressive by today's standards, but in 1936 the car's specs were world class. The supercharged 3.2-liter straight-8 produced 210 horsepower @ 5500 rpm, and it's top speed of nearly 130 mph made it the fastest road car of its time." Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog"The performance stats of the Type 57SC Atlantic don't seem impressive by today's standards, but in 1936 the car's specs were world class. The supercharged 3.2-liter straight-8 produced 210 horsepower @ 5500 rpm, and it's top speed of nearly 130 mph made it the fastest road car of its time." Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog
  • Few car companies have the history and brand image of Bugatti. Founder Ettore Bugatti started racing automobiles in 1899, and by 1900 had won his first race with a car of his own design. Bugatti went on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time in 1920. Throughout the 1930s, the company produced some of the most impressive and elegant road cars ever built. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlogFew car companies have the history and brand image of Bugatti. Founder Ettore Bugatti started racing automobiles in 1899, and by 1900 had won his first race with a car of his own design. Bugatti went on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time in 1920. Throughout the 1930s, the company produced some of the most impressive and elegant road cars ever built. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog
  • This Bugatti Type 57SC is famous in its own right, having earned the Best of Show at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. More over, it's officially the world’s most expensive automobile: it was sold for nearly $40 million earlier this year, a record price for any car. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlogThis Bugatti Type 57SC is famous in its own right, having earned the Best of Show at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. More over, it's officially the world’s most expensive automobile: it was sold for nearly $40 million earlier this year, a record price for any car. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog
  • There are either two, three or four Type 57SC Atlantics in the whole Universe. The car you see above, chassis 57374, is the first production car and is rumored to have several components from the Bugatti Aerolithe Electron Coupe prototype that debuted at the 1935 Paris Motor Show. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlogThere are either two, three or four Type 57SC Atlantics in the whole Universe. The car you see above, chassis 57374, is the first production car and is rumored to have several components from the Bugatti Aerolithe Electron Coupe prototype that debuted at the 1935 Paris Motor Show. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog
  • "If you consider the Type 57SC Atlantic to be a piece of rolling artwork, which it should be, the price tag doesn't seem so enormous. With inflation considered, even $40 million doesn't crack the list of top 40 most expensive paintings," wrote blogger Drew Phillip at AutoBlog.com. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog"If you consider the Type 57SC Atlantic to be a piece of rolling artwork, which it should be, the price tag doesn't seem so enormous. With inflation considered, even $40 million doesn't crack the list of top 40 most expensive paintings," wrote blogger Drew Phillip at AutoBlog.com. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog
  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When some see the Type 57SC Atlantic they see the world's most beautiful car. Others see a strangely proportioned, funky looking old car. If you look to the experts – the judges at Pebble Beach – they'll tell you it's a beautiful automobile. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlogBeauty is in the eye of the beholder. When some see the Type 57SC Atlantic they see the world's most beautiful car. Others see a strangely proportioned, funky looking old car. If you look to the experts – the judges at Pebble Beach – they'll tell you it's a beautiful automobile. Photo: Drew Phillips / AutoBlog

The 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is famous in its own right, having earned the ‘Best of Show’ at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. While it is certainly amongst the most beautiful cars in the world, it’s officially the world’s most expensive one. This year, it was sold for a record price of nearly $40 million.

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