A 1935 Bugatti Type 47SC Atlantic has scooped the top gong at this year’s Chantilly Arts & Elegance, which took place at the French chateau on 10 September.
The incredible pre-war Bugatti, which belongs to Peter Mullin of the Mullin Automotive Museum, edged stiff competition for the top award from a 1962 Ferrari 250GTO, a 1929 Alfa Romeo 8C 1750 Grand Sport Spider Zagato MM and a 1939 Delage D8-120 S Coach Sport – gems among a field of 100 entrants.
The Atlantic is the first of only four built, and of just three survivors. Both of the early Aéro Coupé cars – the first two production Atlantics built – share a number of mechanical similarities to the original Aérolithe prototype, including an exposed seam which runs the length of the body. Originally designed to prevent the prototype’s magnesium panels from igniting while being welded, the styling cue was carried over to the two Aéro Coupé’s, despite being bodied in less volatile aluminium.
Delivered new in 1936 to Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild, third baron of Rothschild, the Atlantic has had just a handful of owners throughout its 80-year history.
“It was thrilling to be part of this event and share this magnificent French automobile with the people of its home country,” said Peter Mullin, Chairman of the Board at the Petersen Automotive Museum and founder of the Mullin Automotive Museum. “To take home the top honour was particularly special, as I know how much this automobile means to French automotive enthusiasts.”
Following its French excursion, the car is set to return to the United States, where it will go on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum and its ‘Art of Bugatti’ exhibit. The display includes a Bugatti Royale, a Type 57C Atalante, a Type 35C and a Type 101C, in addition to art, sculptures, furniture and other artefacts from Bugatti’s history.
Photos: Mathieu Bonnevie