Then And Now #468

Seems as though Bugatti has made a one-off for some rich fart, based on the classic Bugatti “Atlantic” of the 1930s:

Leaving aside the price of the thing (which is of course insane because Bugatti), Loyal Readers will not be surprised as to which model I prefer.  Both look like Batmobiles, of course, each for their respective era (assuming Batman was around in the 1930s, which he wasn’t), and both have amazing power (once again, for their respective eras).

I’d bet that the older one is easier to park, though, simply because the modern one looks like a bloated sow by comparison.  And in a real-life setting, the Atlantic looks even more toothsome:


  1. I’d take either, or both, but if I had to choose it’d be the old one – the one in the top pik, with the fender skirts. (where my curb feelers iz???)

  2. I got the opportunity to spend a while enjoying a Bug Atlantic at the Amelia Island Concours a few years ago. Like other Bugattis, it is both simple and complex. Nothing there that is not needed, nothing needed is left off. The car’s presence is striking, the engine, a blown, DOHC straight eight is a magnificent thing to behold, again both simple and complex.
    Ettore was a genius.

  3. Actually Batman was “born” in the spring of 1939 and a car like the Atlantic would have been totally appropriate for the original wealthy high tech ( for that era) character. Those old pulp heroes like Batman, The Shadow, and Doc Savage were rich and talented men who were driven to do good. Today our society would call them vigilantes and terrorists.

    I had a high-school teacher who used the mid 60’s Adam West Batman character as a symbol of the downfall of western culture. He said that my generation would much rather watch “The Batman” than read books. I’m glad that he’s not alive today.

  4. I have a feeling that I’d prefer the new one for a drive from Rome to Milan in August.
    That old coupe is nice to look at, but would be mighty hard on a geezer like me.
    Besides, I couldn’t bear to sweat stain its million dollar seats.

  5. For an insight into building these cars, look up “Restoration Garage” on the Motor Trend Channel. There they built a replica on a period correct chassis in true bespoke coach builder fashion of the similar Aerolithe of which only a couple of snapshots taken on the streets exist. The Aerolithe follows the lines of the Atlantic of which at least two of the three made are known to still exist. The Atlantic’s were made of magnesium and the Aerolithe of titanium.
    The real name of the outfit is the Guild of Automotive Restorers up in Ontario Canada.

  6. Well, I’m going to be “that guy”.

    I think both of those cars are butt-ugly and I wouldn’t have either one. If you gave me one of them, I would sell it and buy something more practical and better looking. (… and bank the price difference.)

    But again, free American citizens are allowed to have different tastes than mine.

    1. Don’t be sorry, Roy; this website is aimed at people who don’t follow the herd.

      That said, when one thinks of a Bugatti, any Bugatti, “practicality” is not a word that comes to mind…

  7. I really like the original, the Art-Deco flow of the lines and always the wire wheels however that is not my favorite car of the time period when they made a lot of fast interesting cars. As for the new I can look and appreciate but it has as much appeal to me as pictures of lovely young women who could be my grand daughters, worth a look and that’s it.

  8. Either would look good, but the last pic looks more like a model than the real deal. I am sure Bugatti has one or two saved back.

    they are both excellent examples of the auto crafters art.

  9. I’ve also had the good fortune to have been able to carefully examine some earlier Bugatti race cars. The elegant simplicity of Ettore’s designs is truly impressive. every part is almost jewel like. There are parts made to simplify the car. For example, one I looked at in the Revs Institute in Naples FL
    ( ), is a 1 1/2 litre race car, the wheels, brake drums are all one piece, not bolted together, made in one piece. That one is actually raced and it looks it, a little oil mist, track dirt, pitted paint, not from rust, from flying gravel, a real race car, kept like a race car. Its not in their current listings.
    They also have a most rare, Mercedes Benz W154 from 1939.
    Incidentally the Revs Institute is the re-named Collier museum from the Collier family of Watkins Glen fame.

  10. I’m with you on the Atlantic. Wouldn’t feel ill used with a Cord, though.

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