1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe.

The third Atlantic was ordered from the factory by Jacques Holzschuch. He took delivery of the car in December of 1936 and promptly drove it back home to Paris. In the spring of the next, he drove the car to the French Riviera and showed it at a concours d'elegance in Nice. At some point, most likely in 1939, the Atlantic's body was modified probably by the works at Molsheim, although Figoni & Falaschi have also been credited with the changes. A supercharger was also fitted.
In 1952 the Bugatti was acquired by Marguerite Schneider for her lover Rene Chatard. Three years later Chatard and one of his mistresses were tragically killed when a train hit the Atlantic on an unguarded railway crossing. The shattered remains were finally released to Schneider after a decade and she immediately sold them to a scrap dealer in Gien. They were retrieved soon after by young Bugatti enthusiast Paul-Andre Berson.
By this time the Atlantic was already a valuable collectible, so it was not surprising that Berson set about resurrecting chassis 57473. It has long been uncertain just how much of the wreck was salvageable but eventually it became clear that Berson used very little for his 'new' Atlantic. Taken over ten years to complete the car sold almost immediately to French collector Nicolas Seydoux, while Berson held on to the remains with the idea of building another Atlantic at one point in the future.
Seydoux owned the resurrected Atlantic for several decades and regularly showed it at events around Europe. He eventually sold it to the current owner through Swiss broker Lukas H√ľni in around 2006. Paul-Andre Berson was also tracked and all the remains of 57473, which were actually slowly becoming a second Atlantic, were also acquired. The two were reunited in the workshop of Paul Russell with the request of putting as many original parts from 57473 into the car built by Berson.
The Seydoux car was stripped and on a new wooden frame all of the surviving original body panels were mounted, which included much of the left hand side of the car, parts of the roof, the dashboard and the engine cover, which still bears marks of an earlier repair. The original crankcase was used to rebuild the engine. The aim was to restore the car to its 1955 configuration, complete with the modifications carried out in 1939. The car was painted the correct grey that was discovered on the surviving panels and the interior colours were picked based on a piece of leather on the original dashboard.
The finished article was first shown to the world during the 2010 Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance and again a few days later on the lawn for the Concours d'Elegance. Considering its coloured past, it was understandably not entered for judging. Some purists nevertheless questioned if a 'replica' should even be allowed onto the show field. That certainly does the car and Russell's formidable work no justice.
Note, The last picture of the engine is not for this particular car but it uses the same one

Descriptions & pictures by ultimatecarpage & supercars & flickr & autoconcept & other
Production Start 1937
Country of origin Italy