Lot 134


1935 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Recreation by Erik Koux


Sold After Auction

United Arab Emirates | Dubai, United Arab Emirates



Chassis No.
  • An expertly moulded recreation of the impossibly beautiful Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic ‘La Voiture Noire’
  • Transformed by Erik Koux for a Dutch collector with work completed in 1992; registered in the Netherlands before being taken to the Middle East in 2008
  • Based on the identity of a Type 57 Galibier; now features an engine built to Type 57SC specifications using some original parts
  • All-aluminium bodywork painstakingly crafted by hand
Addendum: Please note this car is offered with a UAE Vehicle Registration. Please also note the car is titled as 1950.

Further to this, please note that this car has been on static display for a period so requires mechanical recommissioning before extended use, and features cosmetic blemishes.

The rarest interpretation of the Type 57 S by Bugatti was the famous Atlantic Coupé. Featuring an exotic, streamlined body which borrowed heavily from contemporary aeroplane construction methods of the era, this design was a true highlight of pre-war engineering and aesthetics. The Atlantic Coupé is undoubtedly Bugatti’s most revered, legendary, and valuable model created in its esteemed history. Only three examples were made, meaning that this fascinating Atlantic Coupé Recreation by Erik Koux is as close as most Bugatti aficionados might get to the real thing.

In 1973, the Bugatti enthusiast and mechanical engineer Erik Koux began his ambitious goal of producing exacting recreations of the marque’s most esteemed models. Already well-versed in the European circuit of Bugatti collectors, historians, and restorers, the network built by Koux provided his budding project with a unique perspective. In the end, his efforts proved a tremendous success; today, his creations are hailed by the Bugatti community for their fastidious attention to detail, uncompromising build quality, and transparency, and they have been found in notable collections—including that of consummate enthusiast Jay Leno.

As noted in a review of Koux’s recreations for an August 2009 issue of The Bugatti Revue, 'They are not mere look-alikes, they all have a significant amount of original Bugatti parts in them. The rest is precisely remanufactured duplicates. Type 57 engines converted to dry sump, and double oil pumps, power all but two of them ... donor Bugatti provide parts and titles, and yet there is no intent to deceive. The original Atlantics and the Koux recreations are so few, and so well known, that there can be no suggestion of passing one off as the other.' At any rate, Koux’s incredible methods of replication are detailed in explicit detail by multiple enthusiast publications.

Chassis 57302 is documented to have been built by Bugatti as a Type 57 Galibier chassis, which then gained coachwork by Vanvooren. It is believed that, as a new car, it was shown at the 1935 Prague Salon. While little is known from then until its identity was assumed by Koux, the chassis registry within Bugatti Magnum by Hugh Conway suggests that by 1989 its chassis number “57302” was recorded in the United States.

Shortly after that, Koux’s great work began. The project was commissioned by a Dutch collector residing in Maastricht, and the Recreation was completed in 1992. Manufacturing a new Type 57S chassis and using the original “57302” chassis tag, the Atlantic Recreation began to take shape. Its distinctive black bodywork hints at the visual cues of the car it pays homage to, while the central dorsal seam, impressive swooping front and rear wheel arches, spats, small slatted vents at the top of the doors, and signature horseshoe grille reinforce the car’s standing as a faithful recreation of the Type 57SC Atlantic 'La Voiture Noire'. After being prepared by Koux, the Bugatti was subsequently registered for the road in the Netherlands, remaining with the same owner until it was exported to the Middle East in 2008.

The extract from the aforementioned issue of The Bugatti Revue sheds light on the recreation’s early years, after being completed by Koux and enjoyed by its Dutch owner: ‘He sold it only because the bumpy roads in the Netherlands repeatedly damaged the exhaust, requiring several very costly replacements. Besides the "wonderful sound" of the supercharged engine, "it drove like a modern car, steering light, brakes strong and lots of power. I must have driven it more than 40,000 km, more than any other Atlantic owner. Wherever it went it attracted large groups of people. Sometimes I was asked if I were Mr. [Ralph] Lauren, and of course I said I was.’

This Atlantic Recreation by Erik Koux is a fascinating tribute to what many consider to be the most extraordinary car of all time. It would be an inspired acquisition for any serious collector of the marque who wishes to experience the thrill of this legendary model, while lessening the element of fear and risk that could come with driving the real thing. No doubt it would be equally welcome at concours events and shows as the car it was built to replicate.