The most beautiful Bugattis of all time

Whilst known today as purveyors of speed, ludicrous record-breaking speed in fact, Bugatti have always dealt in a currency of physical beauty also. Italian-born founder Ettore Bugatti cultivated cars renowned as much for their ability on the track as their performance standing still; coming from a brood of artists, Bugatti considered himself to be among the family-trade, as well as an engineer and constructor.  Whilst he passed away in 1947, his brand lived on and left a legacy to rival the most esteemed of vehicle manufacturers. We’ve completed the impossible task of whittling down the back-catalogue to these, the most beautiful Bugattis of all time – in our humble opinion:

Type 57SC Atlantic

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Only two supercharged versions of the Type 57 were ever created, one has changed hands for over $40m and the other, in Ralph Lauren’s collection, won the prestigious Concorso d’Eleganze Villa d’Este in 2013.

Royale

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The Type 41, to give it its original name, is one of the largest cars in the world and is a good 20 per cent longer and 25 per cent heavier than the Phantom. Planned to be manufactured as the most luxurious car ever and sold only to royalty – the Great Depression halted production and the run was even shorter than first anticipated; only six were ever created.

1924 Type 35

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The marque’s most successful racing model, tasting victory in over 1,000 races, the shape became iconic, particularly that front vent. The original 35 spawned a number of iterations but the original makes our list, for the history if nothing else.

1933 Type 59

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The final race car of the company’s gloried 1930s run, it struggled against the offerings from Italy and Germany but remains one of the most beautiful to date, despite the sporting shortcomings. The simplistic aerodynamic shape and piano wire wheels cement this as a design classic.

Type 252

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Sneaking in, despite never going past the prototype stage, the sports car was abandoned after defence contracts dried up and was one of the last to be built by the marque before the rights were sold on.

1951 Type 101

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Charged with restarting production following World War II and the deaths of the company founder and his son Jean, only nine were ever built and only seven of them original chassises. Developed from the Type 57, the 101 remains one of the brand’s most beautiful, despite failing to revive the company’s fortunes.

Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse

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The Veyron has become the hallmark of a modern-day supercar and the Vitesse the best among them. The fastest open-top production sports car, clocking 254.04mph, the world record attempt driver, Anthony Liu, claimed that even at such high speeds the ride was still comfortable and the open top didn’t compromise his driving. Bugatti will have to go some way to topping this.

Further Reading