On February 8th, the rare 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Coupé Atlantic was declared the winner of the prestigious The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award at the The Peninsula Paris Hotel. Celebrating its third year, The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award gathered eight of the world’s most refined classic cars (the best of show winners from the top international concours) to clash against each other for the title of most outstanding car in the world. In the end, it was of course the Bugatti that triumphed over the other motor cars. The Bugatti Type 57SC Coupé Atlantic is co-owned by the Mullin Automotive Museum and Rob & Melani Walton, located in California, USA. In addition, the car was also named “Best of Show Concours d’Etat” at the 2017 Chantilly Arts & Elegance.
According to Bruce Meyer, “For the third year, the ultimate standard for judging The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award was that of uncompromised quality and design. Of course, this made the selection process most challenging for the esteemed group of panellists.” He continued: “In the end, the 1936 Bugatti Type 57 SC Coupé Atlantic emerged victorious, with its exceptional, bespoke design making it a marvellous combination of art and technology.”
This legendary Bugatti is powered by a supercharged engine and is recognized by many as the first supercar ever produced; the most significant thing about the Bugatti is that it is one of only four Type 57 Atlantic models ever created, with just three still in existence. The car was designed by Jean Bugatti, Ettore Bugatti’s son, during the peak of the Art Deco movement. Jean gathered inspiration for the Type 57 Atlantic from another of his designs, the 1935 Aérolithe concept car, which was well known for its riveted exterior that was installed to protect the car’s magnesium-alloy body parts from catching on fire. Jean utilized this signature riveted seam on the all-aluminum body of the Atlantic, thereby bringing this classic look to life.
“The Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is the crown jewel of the automotive circuit,” said Bugatti Head of Tradition Julius Kruta. “This car was Jean Bugatti’s masterpiece with its beautiful and breath-taking lines, plus its unmatched performance for the time. Today, it remains the ultimate expression of the Bugatti legacy: unparalleled power and beautiful design.”
This exact model, chassis number 57374, was the first Type 57 Atlantic to be produced as well as the sole surviving “Aéro Coupé,” which is a moniker given exclusively to the first two cars that shared a mechanical similarity to the Aérolithe. When the car was brand new in 1936, it was delivered to Britain’s Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild, also known as third Baron Rothschild, and since then it has passed through the hands of quite a few owners throughout its 82-year history. The Type 57SC Atlantic Coupé has been on display around the globe a fair number of times, most recently being when it was on display at the Los Angeles-based Petersen Automotive Museum for the “Art of Bugatti” exhibit.
“The Atlantic represents the pinnacle of everything I adore about French automotive styling and is widely described as the Mona Lisa of the automobile collector world,” said Peter Mullin, Founder and CEO of the Mullin Automotive Museum. “From its signature curves to its aviation-inspired rivets, to the Jean Bugatti designed sleek all-aluminium body, the car is truly a remarkable piece of art. I’m very honoured to have shared it with the world amongst other worthy ‘Best of the Best’ contenders.”
“I second Peter’s thoughts – the other seven nominees were simply stunning, which makes winning the award feel even more special,” said Rob Walton, co-owner of the Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupé. “What this award does is allow us to take a step back and admire the quality and beauty of the greatest classic cars in existence today. For an automotive fan like myself, it’s a joy.”
The third annual The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award was previously presented during Monterey Car Week, but the award was relocated to Paris this year to be in-attendance during the acclaimed Rétromobile event. The extraordinary automobile was presented at an exclusive reveal party at The Peninsula Paris’ subterranean garage, following a private dinner, which was briefly stated in an earlier article that also listed the finalists.
Speaking of the award’s legacy, The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, Chairman of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited and co-founder of the award said, “My great hope is that we not only succeed in thrilling long-term car enthusiasts, but that this award will also ignite a new-found passion for those just discovering the world of motoring.”
For more information visit: Peninsula.com