• 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is the world’s most expensive car

Automotive history has just been made as the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic has been sold by Gooding and Company to a buyer that no one would like to confirm. Of course, after a purchase price of $30-$40 million, we would think that the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, Ca. (according to a person familiar with the transaction) would be ecstatic to boast of the purchase of what is considered “the most desirable classic automobile in the world”.

The car was sold by the estate of Dr. Peter D. Williamson after the neurologist passed back in 2008. Williamson owned a spectacular collection of Bugattis that were sold during the annual car collector classic weekend in August 2008. The Atlantic, however, was part of a private sale that has been in the works for quite some time.

Hit the jump for the full story.

“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.”

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.

Only four of the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic were made based on the "Aérolithe" concept car of 1935. The vehicle featured flowing coupe lines and a pronounced dorsal seam creating using Elektron and Duralumin for the body panels. Out of the four that were built, only two are still in existence today; the Williamson Bugatti which won the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and one that is in Ralph Lauren’s private collection.

1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is the world's most expensive car Exterior
- image 360586

The 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is now the most expensive car sold by a landslide. The closest amount behind the Bugatti is the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa sold for $12.2 million in 2009 and the 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe sold for $8.7 million in 1987.

“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.”

Source: Wall Street Journal

About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (317) posted on 07.28.2011

I can’t appreciate the awesome design of the car but I have to say that I’m glad to see a vintage car for they were served as the basis of modern car!

  (256) posted on 07.28.2011

too bad that we couldn’t see anymore a future production for the Veyron! I was impressed with the classy and restored version of this car. I bet the Bugatti spent over million for the restoration of the car.

  (366) posted on 05.10.2011

What’s new? Bugatti always comes in a high price tag, what more is their vintage car! However, I still wonder if this car still holds the record?

  (40) posted on 04.11.2011

So if i have half of a ham sandwich that I’ll tell people Pres. JFK ate then maybe Ill make bilions! LMFAO! Kinda like this useless car.....

  (358) posted on 04.11.2011

Simply because its vintage..that’s why it worth that much. However, I just wonder, what does the collector gets in spending millions on this thing.

  (466) posted on 04.11.2011

hmm. I don’t get why vintage cars has a high price tag? And except for the collection purposes this car needs a thousand dollar for maintenance.

  (205) posted on 03.31.2011

Well, compare to the latest model of the car today. This car definitely looks so odd. Judging it, based on the looks, I will not consider this car as a million bucks! However, looking at the badge that it’s Bugatti!No way I’m drooling here! 

  (596) posted on 03.16.2011

haha. That was funny! The price of the new and old model of Bugatti are both high! Together we say the F word chris_cortez .lol

  (341) posted on 11.22.2010

Sometimes I think that if you just tell certain people that something is worth 30 million they have to buy it because they are retarded. I think this is the ugliest frigging thing you will never see on the road. A 30 million dollar parking spot holder.

  (619) posted on 09.21.2010

I really don’t understand why is it the most expensive cars, are those car that ugly looking?

  (743) posted on 08.27.2010

Oh yeah, that was 1936 version. The older, the more expensive. It’s authentic!

  (386) posted on 05.11.2010

I think this car is the most expensive car in the history, and this is the first supercar ever built in the history.

  (612) posted on 05.7.2010

What the F*** $40 for a car? huh lucky for those family who has this kind of car way back 1936.

kirbygarlitos  (13) posted on 05.5.2010

$30 million?! And I thought the 250 Testarossa’s figure wouldn’t be touched for at least a few years.

Car Finder:
  • Bugatti 57sc