The 1936 Bugatti type 57SC: is this the most beautiful car in the world?

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what makes a car excite the imagination? what draws us to these rolling hunks of metal, and inspires us to feel something? for any enthusiast, the bugatti type 57SC coupé atlantic poses these questions with its teardrop curves and art deco details.

teardrop curves and art deco details
photo by cedric canezza

whether its heritage, beauty, or novelty, this car has got it all, and that’s why this baby blue type 57SC won the illustrious peninsula classics best of the best award. for those of you who don’t know, this competition features the most prized cars in the world and is judged by some of the biggest names in the classic car community, including jay leno and ralph lauren.

the baby blue type 57SC won the illustrious peninsula classics best of the best award
photo by cedric canezza

sometimes pictures just can’t do justice to a car’s beauty, but good luck seeing one of these in person, with only 3 surviving original cars in existence — you’re more likely to see an albino elegant or a ghost for that matter. these are all reasons why this car is considered widely as the mona lisa of classic cars. its rarity is just one of the the many reasons behind its estimated 40 million dollar price tag. its unique history of intrigue, the mystery surrounding its precursor’s unexplained disappearance…this car, manufactured shortly after the famed car show, was personally owned by the third baron rothscild, and has since had few other owners in its 82 years.

the mona lisa of classic cars
photo by cedric canezza

bugatti’s use of magnesium rather than aluminum was very bold and posed many logistical problems for manufactures, and even more for car restorers. all these challenges didn’t daunt the car’s father jean bugatti (heir to the bugatti name) who personally believed in the car enough to see its release in the paris and london cars show of the time, where it was looked on as if it were extraterrestrial.

bugatti’s use of magnesium rather than aluminum was very bold
photo by cedric canezza

its design — combined with its advanced performance which was unrivaled — has lead it to be considered the earliest supercar, and is a staple in classic car canon. ‘even against some other timeless classics the atlantic is able to stand out,’ said rob walton, co-owner of the winning car. the other seven nominees were simply stunning, which makes winning the award feel even more special.’ you can see several of the other competitors below — they are also noteworthy.

considered as the earliest supercar and is a staple in classic car canon
photo by cedric canezza

1936 bugatti type 57SC coupé atlantic
image courtesy of the penisula hotels

1929 mercedes-benz s roadster by barker
image courtesy of the penisula hotels

1964 ats 2500 gts coupé by allemano
image courtesy of the penisula hotels

1957 alfa romeo giuleietta sprint speciale
image courtesy of the penisula hotels

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