|Most beautiful classic! "Classic
and Sports Car", August 1997
"With sweeping natural form and stylish
detailing, the sensational Atlantique is Jean Bugatti's masterstroke. Debuted
at the l935 Salon de Paris, this swoopy coupé boldly encapsulates
1930s design trends, the elegant age of Art Deco and a new trend for streamlining.
The artistic traditions of the Bugatti family, Grandfather Carlo's idiosyncratic
furniture, father Ettore's genius for engineering beauty and son Jean's
natural eye for form and style are encapsulated in this remarkable design.
Originally christened the Aerolithe,
the dramatic body of the first car was made of elektron and because of
difficulty welding, the sections were riveted together, aircraft style.
The exposed seams with button-head rivets ran down the spine of the main
body and the curvaceous wings. The doors with distinctive semi-ellipsoidal
windows also displayed aviation influence and cut well into the roof to
Only three production Atlantiques were
built and, unlike the original Aerolithe, featured V-type Type 57S radiator
designs. The practicality of the Atlantique was less satisfactory. Inside
the cockpit, conversation was almost impossible over 40mph and the handling
was compromised by the extra weight over the rear wheels. The fate of the
original Aerolithe remains a mystery but the others survive, two in America
and one in France."