By Adewale Adekanbi Jr.
Ralph Lauren’s 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is one of only two remaining. The other, a 1936, sold for 40 million dollars in 2013. Lauren’s resent won the most prestigious auto show on the planet: the Concorso d’EleganzeVilla d’Este.
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Jean Bugatti unveiled his Aérolithe concept car in Paris in 1935. The car was ahead of its time. Made out of a light but flammable magnesium alloy called Elektron with externally riveted body panels the automobile also featured a new chassis (T57) and a new double overhead-cam engine. These innovations made the Aérolithe the most advanced car of its time. Unfortunately the public was not impressed, which disappointed Ettore Bugatti greatly, and the Aérolithe disappeared soon after.
Some of the new advances (including the chassis) were used in the 1936 Atlantic. The voluptuous curves and long elegant hood made the Atlantic is not just a car, but a monument to pre-war Europe. It also became the pinnacle of the Bugatti family’s contribution to the twentieth century and the automotive industry. The Alantic remains a significant piece of history, considered by many to be Art Deco on four wheels.