Friday 18 February 2011

A Beautiful Bugatti

By far the most photogenic car at Retromobile was the Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic Spider. It is a triumph of the style of design that seeks to honour the materials and construction methods by allowing them to form the shapes and patterns of the object unadorned. I'm always a sucker for welded and rivetted metal sculpture, and this is precisely what this vehicle is, designed by someone who had thought about every curve, angle and plane in three dimensions. I have absolutely no interest in what its top speed is or how much noise it makes or even how much fun it is to drive. It is an objet de vertu.

I love the way the exhaust pipes sweep out from under the bonnet and dive into a sheath tucked in behind the wheel arch. I love the simple stainless steel grill bonnet vents that allow you to see through to the engine.

The body has been painted, but in silver grey metallic, so that your impression is of brushed stainless steel. There were other Bugattis at the show, but none of them had the visual impact that this one did. The difference between silver grey metallic and the battleship grey gloss on a standard L57 Atlantic is remarkable, for instance.

This is a sort of replica - it is a proper L57 Atlantic which has been rebodied with a "Spider" body. I can understand why you might want to do this - the last time an original L57 Spider Atlantic was on the market , it sold for $30 million USD. Once assumes this will be a little less expensive.[EDIT] You're too late, some lucky person has just bought this car.



Tim said...

I can think of a thousand things to spend that 15 million quid on... an open-top, Slough-built sister to Celestine for starters!
Followed by a propper '50s Sunbeam Talbot Alpine [also open top!]... both these purchases will leave plenty of change... about 14 mill to be spent on insurance and fuel.... but at the same time, both being open top, the weather will change and stay constantly dreary and wet!
This monster still makes me want to drive it though.... talk about sleek!

Leon Sims said...

Yes Tim - all those sound like good financial decisions (especially the Traction roadster) but I have only one other word to say.
He had designed and made the worlds best classics.
Nice post Susan - we have many Bugatti in Australia. A book was published on Buggati in Australasia by a friend of mine.
We also have a few Traction Roadsters and coupes.

Carolyn said...

Was it you?

Susan said...

Carolyn: I'm assuming Simon bought it for my birthday but it's a surprise.

Simon said...

30 mil would buy a Speed 6 Bentley, a 57 Chev convertable, and an FB Holden ute.

What's more, I would still have some money left over for a sensible car - maybe a DB9...

Leon Sims said...

Simon - an FB ute - does that come with a meat pie??????
I'll do a future post on Holden cars and meat pies soon.

Simon said...

4 and 20..

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