One of the last Bugatti Chirons to be made is a glorious homage to the Type 57 SC Atlantic

Exclusive one-of-one Super Sport build commissioned for a 70th birthday

(Image credit: Bugatti)

The world of hyper and super cars is changing. Did you know that Ferrari sold more hybrids than it did gasoline cars during its last quarter of sales? Electrification is coming for them all, and that includes Bugatti.

A replacement for the fearsome Chiron Super Sport is inbound, and rumours suggest it will be powered by some kind of hybrid set-up. But before that point, we can marvel at the most recent commission: a completely bespoke undertaking ordered as a 70th birthday present by one very lucky, very affluent customer.

"I remember the day like it was yesterday. I visited the Mullin Automotive Museum at Oxnard, and there it was, one of only three cars that still remain, on a pedestal all by itself. I fell in love with it from the very second I saw it," said Bugatti’s senior, car-loving customer of the very first 1930s Type 57 SC Atlantic she ever laid eyes on.


(Image credit: Bugatti)

The beautiful, shapely silhouette of the Type 57 SC Atlantic is one of Bugatti’s most coveted cars so lead designer of Bugatti’s special projects, Jascha Straub, had his work cut out. Straub even travelled to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to grab a colour swatch from the classic car his exclusive customer clapped eyes on all those years ago.

It just so happened to be on display in a temporary exhibition, so Straub could observe the paintwork under different light conditions. "It needed to be completely authentic to the original," he says.

In addition to the striking paint, the engineering team came up with a new grille with polished vertical lines and a thicker centre spine that pays homage to the front end of the Type 57 SC Atlantic.

This was no mean feat, considering that grille pays a very important role in cooling the whopping W12 engine found in this 261mph machine. It caused a number of engineering headaches but money clearly wasn't too much of an issue, so solutions were found.

According to its designer, the underside of the rear wing also features a hand-drawn silhouette of the Atlantic, finished with '57' and 'One of One' lettering in a "subtle nod to the craftsmanship and design that inspired this unique work of automotive art," Bugatti says in its typically modest tones.

Inside, the customer was allowed to let the imagination run a little wilder and the result is 'Gaucho' leather covering most surfaces, while the original Atlantic's silhouette has been hand-stitched in Lightning Blue on the door panels.

Apparently, the car isn’t just sitting in a hermetically sealed garage, as its new owner is enjoying her 8-litre quad-turbocharged W12 Bugatti, having "explored the scenic routes of the American West on the US Grand Tour," according to Bugatti. Let’s hope the 1,479hp and 261mph top speed were put to good use. 

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.