I’ve shared some of the Type 57 SC’s I saw at Limerock this year. They were the hypercars of their day, the ultimate of speed and technology. This is a Bugatti Type 57C, the grandest of grand touring cars, similar to a Rolls Royce Dawn or Bentley Continental today. This one is particularly pretty in two-tone blue.
Enjoy the gallery.
This two-tone green 1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atalante was only just overshadowed at Lime Rock Park because it was in the presence of the two pinnacle Type 57 SC models, the Atlantic Coupe and the Gangloff Drophead Coupe. Anywhere else it would’ve easily taken best in show.
Only 17 Atalante Coupes were built, and this green one is particularly elegant. Like the Type 57 SC Atlantic I posted recently, this Atalante was also very much a hypercar back in 1937 in the same way the Chiron is today. The modern car may be much faster, but I’d argue the old car wore it better.
Enjoy the photos.
Mona Lisa. This 1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic Coupe is literally the Mona Lisa of the automotive world, both in its raw artistic beauty and in its collector status. It is one of just two of the original four Atlantic Coupes known to survive, and if either were to go up for sale the dollar figure could easily be the highest ever seen for an automobile.
This blue Atlantic is owned by the Mullin Museum in California and the other (black) Atlantic is currently owned by fashion mogul, Ralph Lauren. I’ve now had the pleasure of laying my bare eyes on both of them and each occasion has been tremendous for me.
The Type 57 SC Atlantic is such a striking car, as Art Deco as Art Deco gets on four wheels. Its definitive styling trait is its riveted dorsal seams that extend along the entire spine of the car and on each of its fenders. On the Aerolithe show car (on which the Atlantic’s design was based), the riveted dorsal seams were necessary for its construction due to its magnesium body, which couldn’t be welded. All of the Atlantics were aluminum bodied, but they retained the dorsal seams for their unique styling appeal. There is nothing else like it, and mixed with the Atlantic’s elegant curves, it will leave your jaw on the floor every time.
This is very much a “hypercar” circa 1937, in prestige, stunning beauty, unique craftsmanship, and raw speed. In fact, while the Jaguar XK120 was hailed as the fastest production car in the world in 1949 with a top speed of 124mph, these Bugatti Type 57 SCs were said to be capable of cracking 120mph more than a decade earlier. The superchargers took their straight-eight engines up to 200hp, and they only weighed around 2,000lbs. That’s not a bad power-to-weight ratio at all at around 10lbs per horsepower, similar to a Lotus Elise (on paper at least), though with vastly older technology. The point is the Bugatti Type 57 SC in 1937 was very much equal to the Chiron today, and if you’re looking into the history of the hypercar it may be one of the first clear examples you’ll find.
Naturally, early hypercars such as these would have only been owned by the fabulously wealthy and famous, and this Bugatti was no exception. According to sources I’ve seen, its original owner was a member of the prominent Rothschild family in Europe. They always seem to have such great taste in cars.
It was such a thrill to finally see the blue Atlantic Coupe in person. The show at Lime Rock was astonishingly good this year, but it would have been worth the 3-hour ride just to see this car alone. Enjoy the gallery of this unbelievable machine!
Some shows you will never forget, and our Day in the Park experience this past weekend will surely be one of them. We woke up bright and early to make the 3 hour drive up to Lime Rock Park for the show. The drive is always half the fun of the day with the second half of it consisting of winding country roads. It’s a journey meant for a sports car and what awaits at the destination is always remarkable.
This year we found ourselves in Bugatti heaven. Two of the holy grail Bugattis were in attendance, the Mullin Museum’s Type 57 SC Atlantic and Ralph Lauren’s Type 57 SC Gangloff Drophead Coupe. I mean, these are literally the Mona Lisas of cars (worht untold millions), and they were sitting right there, totally accessible. It was unbelievable!
This was also by far the largest display of vintage Bugattis I’ve ever seen in one place, with around 80 cars present. There were also, of course, many other incredible cars there and it was a fantastic day of automotive entertainment.
Enjoy the highlights!
Styled by the famed Figoni design house in Paris, this beautiful Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 had to be hidden from the Nazis during the war. And aren’t we so glad it was saved so that it could win best in class this year at Amelia Island?!
More details below. Enjoy the gallery!
This astounding Auburn caught my eye while driving around on the street the day prior to the Concours. It was one of those extra special cars that stopped me in my tracks, making me drool like an idiot. That swooping shape, the clean two-tone green with cream white, it was a sight to be seen in the show, let alone out on the public road.
The car itself is actually a replica of a one-off Auburn that was destroyed in a fire at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 1929. It’s made of all original Auburn parts, built using the original drawings, so it’s a worthy successor to the original car. I feel like such a story repeats itself throughout history in the automotive world, where an original one-off is destroyed and it has to be replaced by a replica. The Jaguar XJ-13, the Lamborghini Miura Jota, and the Bugatti Type 57 Aerolithe all come to mind, among others.
I’m glad this Auburn exists!
Just when I thought some of the new cars had style, I walked downstairs and saw this glorious white Duesey in the classics. Aerodynamic efficiency and safety structure is all fine and good, but nothing today has style like the top-tier cars of the 1920’s and 30’s.
These days everyone has a Phantom or a Lambo. If you roll up in a big Duesenberg like this one, it’s game over. You win.
With a top speed of around 100mph, this striking blue Lagonda was one of the fastest British cars of its day. It was so fast, in fact, that a Lagonda 4.5L won LeMans the year before this car was made. You can see the rest of the details on this car in the image below.
What really drew me to this car was its distinctive color combo and its awesome hood ornament. The color is almost like BMW’s Laguna Seca Blue, and the interior is chocolate leather with light wood trim. It’s a gorgeous combination! As for the hood ornament, it’s a native gentleman fighting a snake with a hatchet. Quite an epic scene to witness as you drive along.
Enjoy the gallery of this magnificent classic Brit!
This Delage is quite a work of automotive art. The fine details and the sheer craftsmanship of its build in addition to its seamlessly elegant design made it stand out at the Radnor Hunt Concours this year. The alligator leather and the chrome trim were incredible, but the crown jewel of its details was definitely its hood ornament, a crystal woman with a swept headdress.
Such a striking machine. I’ll let the photos do the talking from here. Enjoy the gallery!
This car is cool enough. It’s the only one of its kind left, and it has a nice color combo to boot, but its hood ornament is absolutely bitchin’. Yea that’s right, I just used the term “bitchin'” to describe a classy pre-war car, but sometimes that’s just how it’s gotta be. And sometimes the hood ornament is the only thing that makes me notice a car.
This Willys-Knight is actually a very interesting car, and you can see some of its details below. But me, I just saw the night in shining armor with his noble steed, racing to save some lovely damsel, atop the hood, and I was captivated.
The right hood ornament adds the perfect finishing touch to an old car like this, and this Willys-Knight did not disappoint. Enjoy!
This was the cheapest 12 cylinder American luxury car in 1933, one third the price of a comparable Packard. But 1933 was an era in the shock of the Great Depression, and those with money had become more hesitant to flaunt their wealth around with things like fancy cars. As a result, only 14 of these Auburns were produced that year.
The car you see here has been restored to its original black and burgundy color scheme. Enjoy the photos.