Oxnard, Calif. – The Mullin Automotive Museum, an institution that celebrates the Art Deco and Streamline Eras with exquisite French Art and automobiles, announced today that beginning August 3, 2010, the museum will temporarily display the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, formerly owned by the Williamson family of Lyme, New Hampshire. The Atlantic, recognized as one of the world’s most significant automobiles, will be prominently displayed at the Mullin Automotive Museum for a limited time only.
Over the past four decades, the Bugatti Atlantic has seldom been seen publicly, so its presence at the Mullin Automotive Museum will provide a rare insider’s view at the legendary vehicle for generations of enthusiasts.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to display the Bugatti Atlantic at our Art Deco museum,” said Peter Mullin, founder of the Mullin Automotive Museum. “The Art Deco Movement was driven by people who were fascinated by invention and innovation – by the exotic nature of new technology and materials, by art and design, by speed and by the machine – no automobile captures this spirit more than the Bugatti Atlantic. In the historic pantheon of automobiles the Atlantic is without peer.”
The Atlantic was an automobile derived from Bugatti’s prototype “Aerolithe Electron Coupe”, a vehicle that caused a sensation when unveiled at the 1935 Paris Auto Salon. From its inception, the Atlantic defined exotic. It was radical both in its design and engineering. Jean Bugatti produced the Atlantics spectacular sculpted appearance using riveted aluminum panels that he mounted on Bugatti’s most sophisticated, powerful and revolutionary Type 57S chassis. While only three Atlantics were built, this car (chassis #57374) is the first in the series, widely believed to be the most original and correct in form. It was built in 1936 and many suggest that parts from the Aerolithe prototype were used in its production. This car’s first owner Lord Victor Rothschild of London, ordered the car in light blue, with dark blue interior.
In 1939, the car was sent back to the Bugatti factory to be fit with a supercharger. Bob Oliver of Los Angeles was the second owner. Dr. Peter Williamson then purchased the car in 1971, for $59,000, a world record price at the time. Over many years, he respectfully restored the car to its 1939 specification. In 2003, the car made its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where it was awarded the prestigious honor of “Best in Show”.
The vehicle was recently purchased again in 2010 through a sale brokered by Gooding & Company.
“This car is an icon – representing the apex of all automotive design and engineering,” said Julius Kruta, Head of Bugatti Tradition.
The Mullin Automotive Museum opened its doors to the public April 15 and focuses its collection on French art and automobiles of the 1920s and 30s. Central to the Mullin Automotive Museum’s mission is Peter Mullin’s belief in the importance of sharing his collection with the public outside of the confines of a closed private collection.