And possibly the most beautiful!
La Voiture Noire - it was one of four Type 57s built in the 1930s and nobody knows where it is. As you can imagine then, this Bugatti is not it. Nope, that Bugatti - the most interesting Bugatti in the world - was owned by Jean Bugatti himself, son of its founder, and went missing in the Second World War on a train. And, as trains in Europe during that time were much like South African Metrorail today, it was never seen again.
Pity. It was rather beautiful.
But, that's a story for another issue (check out the March issue of GT MAG to get the full scoop) so let's rather focus on this: The Bugatti Aerolithe, which was the car that inspired the Type 57 in the first place, and is now the second most interesting Bugatti in the world. And, this here is it. Well, some of it at least.
Jip, at the turn of the century all we had left of it was its engine, its suspension, its rear axle, and a mere 11 photos of how it looked. So, from just that, this was born thanks to a chap called David Grainger, and his meticulous eye for detail and limitless amounts of patience.
Indeed, it took several years and some R70-million to rebuild the Aerolithe to resemble the original Aerolithe that was unveiled at the 1935 Paris Motor Show those lifetimes ago.
It took a whole lot of skill too. Part of rebuilding it meant that it had to be built by the coach-building standards of the day, which means that the magnesium body had to be hand-crafted, which, we're led to believe, is unbelievably difficult to do.
Just think of it then: What you're looking at right now is exactly what your Great-Grandfather would have perv'd over if he was as car mad as you are, which he might very well have been if he was a cool guy and not into his horses.
What it means then is this. Sure, style changes. But true beauty is timeless. This looks as good as it did at the Paris Motor Show all those decades ago and that there is some impeccable, forward-thinking design.
Designers of today! Look and learn buggers - and be inspired.