Bugatti 57SC Atlantic (1938)


Technical Details

  • Description
  • Scale guide

One of the most iconic Bugatti cars from the original Bugatti era, the Type 57SC Atlantic featured flowing coupé lines with a pronounced dorsal seam running from the front to the back end of the vehicle. The 1935 Aérolithe concept, on which the 57SC was based, used Elektron composite for its body panels. This meant the engineers needed to rivet the panels together externally as, although a durable and lightweight material, the alloy was extremely flammable when exposed to high temperatures. The production run of 57SC Atlantics possessed plain aluminium bodies though the dorsal seams were retained for style.

The Atlantic name was termed in honour of Jean Bugatti’s pilot friend, Jean Mermoz, who never returned from a South Atlantic aviation journey. The ‘S’ stood for ‘Surbaissé’ (‘Lowered’), which was a major undertaking in itself, and the ‘C’ for ‘Compresseur’, a supercharger that Bugatti introduced in response to customers seeking more horsepower. The iconic long bonnet hid a 197-horsepower 3.3-litre inline-6, which allowed the coupe to clock a top speed in excess of 125 mph.

Only four Type 57SCs were ever made, three of which were sold to customers. The first was sold to British banker Victor Rothschild, a second to Parisian businessman Jacques Holzschuh and a third car was sold to R.B. Pope of Britain. The remaining car was used by Jean Bugatti himself but there is no record of the car after 1938. Its whereabouts remain a mystery. Tragically, Holzschuh’s Atlantic was involved in a fatal accident which completely destroyed the car. Decades later, the car underwent a painstaking restoration though the engine was unsalvageable.

R.B. Pope’s model is now owned by Ralph Lauren, who was kind enough to let us use our supremely accurate digital scanning on his original car, allowing us to perfectly recreate every detail at scale. This fine scale model has been handcrafted and finished in our workshops with the co-operation and assistance of the manufacturer regarding original finishes, materials, archive imagery and drawings. Furthermore, the prototype model has undergone detailed scrutiny by the manufacturer’s engineering and design teams to ensure complete accuracy of representation.

The Bugatti 57SC Atlantic is limited to only 99 editions.


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