Now in its third year, The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award brought together eight of the world’s finest classic cars—the best of show winners from the top international concours—to compete for the title of the most exceptional motor car in the world. The Bugatti is co-owned by the Mullin Automotive Museum, and Rob and Melani Walton, located in California, USA, and was named “Best of Show Concours d’Etat” at the 2017 Chantilly Arts & Elegance.
Powered by a supercharged engine and considered by many to be the first supercar ever made, the winning Bugatti is one of four Type 57 Atlantic models ever produced, with only three in the world remaining. The vehicle was designed at the height of the art deco movement by Jean Bugatti, Ettore Bugatti’s son. Jean based the car on his other design, the 1935 Aérolithe concept car, which was famously riveted externally, for fear of the magnesium-alloy body parts catching fire. Jean kept this signature riveted seam on the all-aluminium body of the Atlantic.
This model, chassis number 57374, was the first Type 57 Atlantic produced and is the only surviving “Aéro Coupé,” a designation given to the first two cars that were mechanically very similar to the Aérolithe. The car was delivered new in 1936 to Britain’s Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild, third Baron Rothschild, and has since passed through few owners in its 82-year history. The car has been displayed internationally, and most recently, was on display at the Los Angeles-based Petersen Automotive Museum for the “Art of Bugatti” exhibit.
The founders of The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award are each known as some of the world’s foremost motoring experts, and were brought together by their shared passion for fine motor vehicles, impeccable restorations, as well as the preservation of tradition and heritage.
The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, together with award co-founders Christian Philippsen, William E. “Chip” Connor and Bruce Meyer, created the award that debuted in 2016. The gentleman each cite a passion for automotive excellence as the inspiration behind the creation of The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award.
Previously presented during Monterey Car Week, the award moved to Paris this year to be presented during the world-famous Rétromobile event. The Bugatti was presented at an exclusive reveal party in The Peninsula Paris’ subterranean garage, following a private dinner.
The winning vehicle was selected after being reviewed by 24 automotive experts, designers and notable celebrities within the motoring world.
For more information, please visit http://peninsula.com/bestofthebest.