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by Adam Lynton
73 years after his death, Jean Bugatti’s final masterpiece is ready to be unveiled.
Jean Bugatti was both a brilliant designer, renowned for styling the Type 41 Royale and Type 57, and gifted engineer, helping develop twin-cam engines and independent suspensions. The 1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe Chassis #64002 was his final masterpiece as his life was tragically cut short at the age of 30 when he was killed road-testing a Bugatti Type 57. Although the French carmaker built three chassis, one of which is on display at the Mulin Automotive Museum, they were never completed.
Thankfully Jean had sketched out the coachwork prior to his death.73 years later, they have finally come to life. After years of extensive research and coachwork build, the museum dedicated for the preservation of Art Deco-era automobiles, along with Stewart Reed Design and Automobile Metal Shaping Company, hand-crafted the original body bodywork using coachbuilding techniques from 1939. "We've dedicated much of our efforts at the Museum to honor the Bugatti family and the marque, but never have we done something of this scale," said museum chairman Peter Mullin.
The virtually completed streamlined body features numerous original styling cues including "papillion" doors and riveted body structure, and will be unveiled at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering on August 17 in Monterey before moving to the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, in the fall.