Mullin museum is not Bugatti buyerThu, 06 May 2010
The Mullin Automotive Museum released a statement on Wednesday saying that, contrary to media reports, it was not the buyer of the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic.
“We . . . suspect there has been a transposition of information based on a private conversation that the museum had with the buyer,” the statement said.
The statement did not contradict published reports that the car sold for between $30 million and $40 million, which would make it the most expensive car ever to change hands, and about three or four times more than the highest-priced car ever sold at a public auction, a pontoon-fendered 1957 Ferrari Testarossa that went for $12 million last year. We'd say this one was worth it.
This is one of just three Atlantics ever built. Each is distinct, and all three were derived from the Bugatti Aerolithe Electron Coupe prototype shown at the 1935 Paris auto salon.
This car wears chassis No. 57374 and is the first in the series. It was named Best in Show at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
The car formerly was part of the Williamson Bugatti Collection, and Gooding & Co. was the broker for the family trust that owned the car. Seldom seen in recent years, the car has taken on an almost mythical status.
So where is it going now?
“The Atlantic's buyer has contacted the Mullin Automotive Museum and suggested that we may have the opportunity to display the Atlantic, on a limited basis, later this year,” it said.
So maybe you can see this beautiful, Pebble-winning car soon. The Mullin museum has finally released two dates during which it will be open to the public: May 22 and June 12. Be sure to call for reservations, (805) 385-5400. While you won't be able to see the Atlantic yet, the collection is so stunning you might not miss it.
So who was the Atlantic buyer (or buyers)? It ain't us, that's all we know.
By Mark Vaughn