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Last week a guy affiliated with the company I work for purchased at auction for his museum a 1936 Bugatti 57SC. This is the most expensive car to ever change hands.

Out of the Wall Street Journal
The World?s Most Expensive Car: Sold! - Driver's Seat - WSJ

Some time last week, the estate of Dr. Peter D. Williamson sold the late car collector’s prized 1936 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic to the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, Ca., for between $30 million and $40 million, according to a person familiar with the transaction. Any figure in that range would make the Williamson Atlantic – a heartbreaking piece of European automotive sculpture, considered the epitome of French Deco styling – the most valuable car known to have changed hands.

The most valuable car ever sold at a public auction was a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, which sold in Maranello, Italy, in May 2009 for $12.2 million.

The Bugatti sale was brokered by Gooding & Company, the automotive auction house based in Santa Monica, Ca., and has reportedly been in the works for some time. It’s not unusual for such transactions to remain private because both buyers and sellers typically like to remain anonymous. However, the car collector world knew that after Williamson’s death in 2008 it was only a matter of time before the car – widely acknowledged as the most desirable classic automobile in the world – would be sold.

“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,” said David Gooding, president and founder of Gooding & Company, in a statement. “It has been a great pleasure to work with the Williamson Family and Trust in this important endeavor.” Gooding declined to confirm the identity of the buyer or price.

Williamson, a noted neurologist and expert in epilepsy, amassed a spectacular collection of Bugattis – built in Molsheim, France, between the wars – near his home in Lyme, New Hampshire. Many of these cars were auctioned by Gooding at Pebble Beach, Ca., during the annual car collector classic weekend in August 2008. However, the total sales of Williamson’s other Bugattis sold then – some $15.5 million – was half, or less, than the Atlantic price.

“This car has everything going for it,” said Leslie Kendall, curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. “In addition to technical sophistication, it was most avant-garde and futuristic car built up to that time.

“It embodies every ideal important to car aficionados,” said Kendall. “It’s beautiful, performs well, beautifully built, and rare.”

The 57SC Atlantic was based on the Aerolithe Electron Coupe, a show car built for the 1935 Paris Auto Salon. The car’s low-slung, pontoon-fender design was the work of Jean Bugatti, son of founder Ettore Bugatti. The show car was fashioned out of magnesium panels that were difficult to weld, and so Bugatti employed the car’s distinctive riveted seams. And while the three production Atlantics were built of weld-able aluminum, the seams were retained as a design cue.

Two completely original Atlantics survive: the Williamson car and another owned by clothing designer Ralph Lauren.

The Mullin Automotive Museum, founded by noted car aficionado Peter Mullin and housed in a facility formerly owned by Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler, is dedicated to the preservation of French classic cars of the 1930s, including marques such as Delahaye, Delage, and Talbot Lago. The Museum opened to the public in April.

The Atlantic’s price is, of course, staggering, even to automotive historians and experts.

“It does sort of recalibrate things in the sense that now, it’s official, certain cars have reached the level of art,” said Kendall. “People will start paying attention. It’s should be obvious that there are connoisseurs out there who appreciate cars just as much as they do art, fine wine, furniture and sculpture.

“When the first car sold for seven figures, nobody could believe it,” added Kendall. “Then one went for eight figures, now the Williamson Bugatti. The nine-figure car is out there. It’s just a matter of when.”
Here's the link to his museum's website:
Mullin Automotive Museum: Celebrating the Art Deco Movement - Home
 

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THE ONLY MAN THAT CAN™
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Thats a LOOOOOOOOOOOOT of coin. Good for him.
 

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Thats used Global Express/GV/BBJ money....good for him though for getting what he wanted. I'm sure Ralph Lauren who I believe also owns one of those in black is sure happy to see the price hit that point.
 

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Thats pretty cool. I hear Jay Leno has a Blue Atlantic.......;):whistle:
I believe Leno's is a replica. But still worth some pennies. Also Didn't some 250 GTO's exchange for much more than this?

Also, we are thinking about doing a drive to that museum very soon. It's out in Oxnard, Duane your pics are awesome!
 

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Seen the documentary of Ralph Lauren's car collection. Amazing stuff!
 

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L4Partner
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I believe Leno's is a replica. But still worth some pennies. Also Didn't some 250 GTO's exchange for much more than this?

Also, we are thinking about doing a drive to that museum very soon. It's out in Oxnard, Duane your pics are awesome!
Thanks. It is only open one day this month and next so I would think it will be packed. Maybe by the end of the year it will be open more.

VISITING HOURS

The museum will be open on May 22 and June 12, 2010.

Hours: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Please call for a reservation.
 

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I believe Leno's is a replica. But still worth some pennies.
I seem to remember watching something about Jay's and it's what is considered "re-bodied". I got the impression that meant they are all original parts but it was not an actual original entire car built in the 30's
 

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Wealthy? thats like UBBER Wealthy lol, even most of the rich wont make that much money!
 

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I seem to remember watching something about Jay's and it's what is considered "re-bodied". I got the impression that meant they are all original parts but it was not an actual original entire car built in the 30's
Here's the video on Jay's Garage website of his Atlantic reproduction which does use several original Bugatti components in its construction:

1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic - Bugatti - Jay Leno's Garage

Here's a more complete description of the car's parts and history pulled from BugattiBuilder.com:

For those of you who like numbers: This car was assembled from a number of original Molsheim parts.

The chassis is replica, made by Jack Hensor.

The body is now a Crailville aluminum replica, replacing an earlier fiberglass replica body by Koux.

The engine is # C 110, believed to be the very last engine built, and never put in a car; however the lower crankcase is replica.

The gearbox is # 398 formerly in chassis 57555

The rear axle # 410 came from 57564, a Gangloff cabriolet which has been demolished.

The Leno Atlantic has obtained a chassisnumber by the BOC: it is BC 079.
Interesting to me that the Bugatti Owner's Club assigns chassis numbers to recreations. Many Ferrari owner's tend to scoff at recreations of their marque, even ones that are built with an original Ferrari chassis underneath.

>8^)
ER
 
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