1936 Bugatti 57 Atlantic modifiée Erik Koux For Sale by AuctionFrench title
Camshafts n°9G (left) and 28D (right)
Transmission n°256 with cover n°219
- Project from a Bugatti 57
- Very high standard production
- Aluminium bodywork
- Erik Koux's most beautiful achievement with aluminium body
- Superb condition
Authentic Bugatti Atlantic cars are nowadays in possession of collectors who are not willing to be separated from them and they are among the most expensive automobiles in the world. Therefore, the enthusiast wishing to enjoy this fabulous creation from Jean Bugatti (based on the brilliant chassis 57S) had no choice but to turn to a recreation where the best mixed with the worst. In this case, we are delighted to offer one of the most beautiful and accurate Bugatti Atlantic replicas still in existence. It has indeed the particularity of relying on an authentic Bugatti 57 (chassis No 57654) with its saloon 57 bodywork done by Gangloff; it was also pretty complete from what recalls Hans Matti, a swiss specialist of the brand. This car was registered in Paris in 1954, it was then purchased around 1986 by a serious French collector who owned a dozen Bugatti automobiles. During that period however, he was not satisfied with the four-door 57 and considered it only as a base, since he was dreaming of the ultimate when it comes to Bugatti: the Atlantic.
It turns out that during the same period, a Danish engineer living in the South of France named Erik Koux began to think about making Bugatti Atlantic replicas. As a true lover of the brand and a creative genius, Erik Koux would embark himself into this crazy venture of rebuilding this mythical car. In 1989, both men began an exchange of correspondence in order to initiate a project to build an Atlantic as close as possible to the original, based on a 57 654 version. In November 1991, the chassis of the car is shipped to Erik Koux's workshop in order to start its transformation. Differences between a 57 and a 57S are mainly concentrated around the engine (dry crankcase for the 57 S), the chassis (lower for the 57 S) and of course the bodywork. Consequently, Koux provided a 57S type chassis from his factory, as well as the engine crankcase which was especially made since the original part was untraceable. He customised it using the camshafts from the 57 654, number 9G (left) and 28D (right). The engine-transmission assembly was then handed over for a complete restoration to Laurent Rondoni, the world renowned specialist from Ventoux Moteurs in Carpentras.
The car is then transported to Lausanne at the Fernandez workshop in 1993, one of the most reputable swiss experts when it comes to bodywork development. This specialist has worked on fantastic projects, such as the bodywork restoration of a Talbot "Teardrop" which won the Pebble Beach concours d'elegance and, also the realisation of its first aluminium Bugatti Atlantic by Koux in 1992 for an important Dutch collector (57302). They consequently gained a deeper knowledge of this model and on that basis, all detailed dimensions and plans of the bodywork were provided to them by Erik Koux (from the original car). That's how they ask to Ebenisterie G.Clavel to built the entire wooden structure before converting it into a brilliant and successful aluminium body. Once finished, the bodywork is then sent for painting at the Margairaz workshop based around the same town in Lausanne. The car is finally polished and completed at Guifrida and Fernandez in 1995, before successfully passing its technical tests and getting registered for the road in France in 1996. This unconventional car goes hand in hand with a large folder which allows to track its elaboration and fabrication, with tons of correspondence with Erik Koux and numerous invoices. One of the things to remember is that this Atlantic is very much based on an authentic Bugatti 57; Hans Matti, who conducted his inspection, consequently identified all the numbers taken from original Bugatti parts. This car has rarely been on the road since its completion and remains in superb condition today.
Let's not forget that the Atlantic had a 180 hp Bugatti 3.3 litres dual-camshafts engine which could reach 200km/h, an extremely rare privilege at a time when even the most amazing touring automobiles could reach up to 130km/h only. With this kind of performance, the Atlantic was in a league of its own, consequently being perceived as an extraterrestrial machine in a world of high and traditional cars. Erik Koux's achievements were made with great seriousness, loyalty and love of the brand. This Atlantic is a tribute to what many consider to be the most extraordinary car of all time.
Participating in the auction on this lot is subject to a special registration process. If you would like to bid on this lot, please get in touch with the bidding office or the motorcars department at least 48 hours before the sale.
Photos © Loïc Kernen
Estimation 800 000 - 1 200 000 €