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Millionaires' Majestic Hyper-Rare Dream Bugatti Is The $12 Million Road Lord
Bugatti echoes sophistication, excellence, splendor, and class among car enthusiasts and fine connoisseurs. A rare breed of supercars in its own right, the emblematic automobile is the most outstanding contribution of motoring France to the world. One of the best automobiles ever to be put together, the 1937 Type57SC Atalante is definitely worth its Earth-to-a-standstill estimated price of 12 million dollars.

Millionaires' Majestic Hyper-Rare Dream Bugatti Is The $12 Million Road Lord

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August is the month for the Pebble Beach car auctions. The most expensive offering is this original matching-numbers extra-rare Atalante. With its low profile, thanks to a very cleverly designed chassis and fantastic coachwork by Jean Bugatti (the son of brand founder Ettore), lightweight, almost surreal mechanical specifications and performance, and exquisite finish, this particular 57SC is one of only 17 Atalante originals. This one is probably the best of them all: assembled in Molsheim in April 1937, this chassis 57523 was initially equipped with frame no. 27, engine no. 23S, and Atalante body no. 10.

Very soon after its first owner bought the automobile, he returned to the factory to have a supercharger fitted. With a clearly continuous traceable history going back to 1937, this absolutely stunning car is only one out of two to have the supercharger installed by Bugatti.

Needless to emphasize that the car is in perfect condition and drives impeccably. The engine was derived from the 3.3-liter twin-cam straight-eight that equipped the Type 57 Grand Prix model. A sophisticated dry sump lubrication system permitted a lower engine mount. Its high compression ratio and high-grade tuning resulted in a gain of around 25 HP over the standard Type 57.

With the factory Roots-type supercharger, the Bugatti Type57SC peaked at a power of 200 HP. This, together with the streamlined body and overall dynamics of the low and lightweight chassis, ensured the prestigious status of the fastest production car of its era (a heritage passed down to this day). By the way, the “S” on the nameplate stands for “Surbaissé” (French for “lowered”). No wonder it complemented the collections of pre-war gearheads like kings and the wealthy elite.

Among its unique features – like the awe-inspiring low body, innovative suspension, and oversized headlights – one notable-worthy is the unusual five thin-pipe exhaust termination. To give you an idea of how high-tech it was in the mid-'30s, just one of its de Ram multi-plate disc shock absorbers was priced at the same level as a new regular entry-level car from that era.

After a long and fully documented exchange of proprietors, the No 57523 Atalante Type 57SC Bugatti will again be auctioned next month. This example is a fine preserved, perfectly refitted, rebuilt car and maintains its original matching-numbers frame, body, and engine. Most interesting about the powerplant – this car had its original plant removed in the early '60s after careless incidental damage.

One of its owners' mechanics started it with the cylinders filled with castor oil. Some 40 years later, a new owner spared no expense and bought back the original engine. With several other the-devil-may-care pocket digs, a total overhaul was performed, and it came back under the car's hood.

A few years back, the vehicle's original 1937 gearbox – removed during the supercharger fitting in 1937 – was located and subsequently reunited with the no 57523. A 2019 close inspection by a Bugatti historian confirms that this Atalante is one of just four Type 57S chassis with a factory-supplied supercharger. It retains essential matching-numbers components, including the frame, body, engine, gearbox, differential, and the original chassis plate. The engine is stamped in several locations with the factory assembly no. 25, indicating that it retains its original crankcase, sump, cam boxes, and cam tower drive.

This breathtaking Type 57SC is one fortunate example of automotive history. Favored by fate to rule supreme over the motoring realm as a garage queen, it can be seen in the flesh on rare occasions. One such privilege is coming up soon at The Gooding &Company Pebble Beach Car Auction on the 19th and 20th of next month, where it will go on sale.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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