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Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY — russellcounty.net
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Cruisin': The 1936 Bugatti
In May 15 Issue
Russell County News
By Ron Cowell, Columnist

Have you ever wondered what the rarest and most expensive car in the world is?  I have to admit the thought had crossed my mind a few times. This past week I decided to do a little research and see what I could find out. Now I have to tell you I'm not sure if I found the rarest most expensive car but it has to rank right up there among the top.

I found a 1936 Bugatti that sold a while back for some where between $30 and $40 million dollars. The car has been in a private collection for many years and has been very rarely seen until the passing of it's owner, Peter D. Williamson.

A lot of you may have never heard of the Bugatti.  The vehicle is a classic car that dates back to the early 1900's.  It's creator, Ettore Bugattie from France started the line of cars in 1909.

Bugatti was a well respected engineer although some thought him to be just a little eccentric.  At the time the Bugatti was built it was really different from other vehicles of it's time. He preferred to scrape the engine block by hand so that it was as flat as it possibly could be. By doing this he eliminated the need for gaskets that were on most other cars both then and now. Bugatti believed that the weight of the car was a big issue and worked hard to find ways to make the weight distribution of the car more efficient.

One thing that makes the Bugatti so special is there were only very few of each of the cars' models made.  This in itself made it a very rare find and put it at the top of the classic car list. This 1936 was found in the private collector's collection just recently and is one of only seventeen that were made.

The Bugatti was used for racing also and is believed to be very successful in it's day.  

The beginning of the end of the vehicle was during World War II when the production plant was completely destroyed and the property was seized. Bugatti wanted to carry on his work in the auto industry but he passed away in 1947 before he could implement any of his new plans or ideas. Another family member tried to pick up the ball and run with it but just didn't have the drive that Bugatti had and the production of the vehicle cane to an end. A short time later the company was purchased by Volkswagon and the vehicle was being built again but not in mass production. The Bugetti would never have the success and production or recognition it once had.

This rare car was sold to a buyer a while back who did not want to be known for reasons I could not find out but he paid dearly for the car. Chances are you will never see one of these cars up close.

When the car was sold the comment was made by a top collector that he was very pleased that this 1936 Bugatti type 57SC Atlantic, one of the world's most significant  and valuable cars that had been in a private collection,would now have the chance to be seen by others. Two other completely original other Atlantics survive today and are owned by the clothing designer, Ralph Lauren.

So that is what I found to be the rarest and most valuable car in the world today. If you know of another one please let me know. I would like to really know and pass the information along to everyone.

If you know someone you would like to see featured in my article or your club has an upcoming event you like to let everyone know about send the information to -djron47@yahoo.com --- and we'll get it in here for you.

With the season coming on, and your group or club is having an event and you would like to have some of the Classic Cars there for display any of the local clubs would be glad to bring their cars out to show, (weather permitting). All information needs to be in at least two weeks before the event. Until next time, Keep Cruisin' !

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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P.O. Box 190
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Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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