Even in a back catalogue as exalted as Bugatti’s, certain models stand out - the Type 57 SC Atlantic is one of them. As long ago as 2010 it was a £20m car, famous the world over for its technical sophistication, stunning design and aluminium bodywork from the mid-1930s. Now the very first Type 57 SC Atlantic has been celebrated with this, the Chiron Super Sport ‘57 One of One’.
Because it’s a Bugatti, the story behind this particular hypercar is beautifully daft. The owner first saw a Type 57 SC Atlantic 20 years ago and fell in love with it; then, for her 70th birthday, her husband had bought her a Chiron Super Sport (!), with an invitation to Molsheim to go spec it however she wished. Happy Birthday indeed. Visiting the factory, the customer saw a scale model of the very first Atlantic, the actual car she’d seen two decades ago, and the decision was made - this 70th birthday Super Sport was going to celebrate the Type 57.
It was not the work of the moment. The paint here is an exact replica of that used on Atlantic, but at the time of the commissioning the exact car was in the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. So Jascha Straub, Lead Designer of Bugatti’s Sur Mesure programme, travelled there with a colour swatch to get the silvery-blue just right in every kind of light. They made the most of it, too, with the paint also being used for the Super Sport’s wheels.
That really is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the incredible attention to detail goes. The Chiron’s grille is reminiscent of the Atlantic’s horseshoe, complete with polished vertical lines and a thicker central spine, yet still fulfills all the aerodynamic and cooling requirements of a 270mph car. Underneath the rear wing that helps keeps the Bugatti steady at four-and-a-half miles a minute is a hand-drawn sketch of the Atlantic, which is repeated inside with gorgeous contrast stitching. All the Chirons are incredible things to look at, of course, though this really is something special.
The interior is decked out in ‘Gaucho’ leather with Lightning Blue accents and additional ‘57 One of One’ details. The ‘Dancing Elephant’ sculpture by Rembrandt Bugatti (new to us as well) is embroidered into the headrests, because the new owner loves animals. Both the signatures of Rembrandt and Jean Bugatti (son of Ettore, described as ‘the creative force’ behind the Atlantic) are on the sills.
Hendrik Malinowski, Bugatti MD, said: “When crafting a bespoke car for our customers, we will always look to pay tribute to our rich heritage. For a customer to embrace our lineage in such a way, and lead in the inclusion of such design elements, it is a proud moment. A creation like the ’57 One Of One’ is the perfect match for our Sur Mesure offer, bringing a passionate customer with bold ideas together with our endlessly creative and talented design and engineering teams. The result is a breath-taking new chapter in the legend of the Type 57 SC Atlantic; authentic, beautiful and formed in the spirit of Jean Bugatti’s original. The Type 57 SC Atlantic will always be an icon and this latest homage can proudly sit alongside it on the concours lawns of the future.”
Gets better than that, too, as this Chiron isn’t destined merely for a life of being ogled by old men in iffy chinos. It’s out being driven, the new customer having enjoyed the Super Sport already on the Bugatti Grand Tour in the US. Good on her. Talk about enjoying retirement in style…
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