The closest amount behind the Bugatti is the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sold for $12.2 million in 2009 and the 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe sold for $8.7 million in 1987.
Only four of examples were ever made, and even fewer are still around today. One is owned by Ralph Lauren, and another belonged to the late Dr. Peter Williamson, also winning the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance best in Show car.
The Atlantic was an automobile derived from Bugatti's prototype Aerolithe Electron Coupé that caused a sensation when it was unveiled at the 1935 Paris Auto Salon. Bugatti later built just three Atlantics, each one different from the next, but this 1936 car is the first in the series, which explains its historical significance.
"I am extremely pleased to have found the new buyer for the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, one of the world's most significant and valuable automobiles that has been in a private collection and rarely seen during the past four decades," David Gooding, president and founder of Gooding & Company, said in a release. "It has been a great pleasure to work with the Williamson Family and Trust in this important endeavor."