The Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic, an ageless masterpiece conceived by Jean Bugatti nearly 90 years ago, continues to captivate the imaginations of connoisseurs and automotive enthusiasts alike. Revered as the world’s most valuable and exclusive automobile, its design elements, such as the bolted fin running along its body, have influenced Bugatti’s contemporary design language. Beyond being a mere reference for Bugatti’s design team, the Type 57 SC Atlantic served as the inspiration for a unique creation – the ’57 One of One’ – borne out of a customer’s desire to pay homage to this iconic vehicle through her first Bugatti, a Chiron Super Sport.
Two decades prior, the customer, a lifelong car enthusiast, first encountered the Type 57 SC Atlantic at the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard. The indelible memory of that moment stayed with her, and her dream of owning a Bugatti came true when her husband, who shared her passion for cars, surprised her on her 70th birthday with a personal invitation from Bugatti to configure her own Chiron Super Sport. This marked the beginning of a co-creation journey that would span over a year.
During her visit to Bugatti’s home in Molsheim, France, she met Jascha Straub, Lead Designer Sur Mesure at Bugatti, who played a pivotal role in bringing her vision to life. The turning point came when they encountered a scale model of the Type 57 SC Atlantic, igniting a shared recognition that this was the direction to pursue. Straub had long harbored dreams of reinterpreting this automotive icon, and with the customer’s input, they began evolving the design together.
The customer’s vision was deeply influenced by the striking silver-tinted blue hue of the Type 57 SC Atlantic displayed at the Mullin Automotive Museum. Achieving this specific color required meticulous attention to detail, prompting Straub to travel to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, where the original car was showcased in an exhibition. The goal was to replicate the exact color under different lighting conditions, ensuring authenticity to the original.
The design process involved careful collaboration between the Sur Mesure team and Bugatti engineers to create a faithful homage to the original Type 57 SC Atlantic while adhering to Bugatti’s ‘Form Follows Performance’ design philosophy. The resulting design featured a new grille with polished vertical lines and a thicker center spine, complemented by five-spoke Super Sport wheels and vibrant chrome accents. The rear wing showcased a hand-drawn silhouette of the Atlantic, incorporating ’57’ and ‘One of One’ lettering.
Inside the vehicle, the customer selected ‘Gaucho’ leather in a timeless color to enhance the exterior design. Details such as the Atlantic’s silhouette hand-stitched in ‘Lightning Blue’ on the door panels, a center console with a custom inlay proclaiming ’57 One of One,’ and the embroidered ‘Dancing Elephant’ sculpture of Rembrandt Bugatti on the headrests reflected the customer’s appreciation for Bugatti’s history and artistic vision.
Hendrik Malinowski, Managing Director at Bugatti Automobiles, expressed pride in the customer’s embrace of Bugatti’s rich heritage and the collaborative process that led to the creation of the ’57 One of One.’ He highlighted the car’s status as a tribute to the Type 57 SC Atlantic, seamlessly blending history, authenticity, and innovative engineering.
While destined to attain iconic status at events like the Concours d’Élégance, the ’57 One of One’ is relishing the American West’s open roads, as the customer indulges in the unparalleled Bugatti driving experience during the US Grand Tour. In crafting this bespoke masterpiece, Bugatti has added a breathtaking chapter to the legend of the Type 57 SC Atlantic and reinforced its commitment to excellence and the enduring legacy of automotive artistry.