A prototype Bugatti that was never completed is finally receiving bodywork after 72 years. Jean Bugatti, who was in charge of the project at the time, was killed in a racing accident which ended the project.
The 120mph Type 64 had been intended by Jean to be the gran turismo successor to the Type 57. and as such was even more technically advanced. The 135bhp engine incorporated chain-driven camshafts, which were more efficient and quieter than the gear drive of the Type 57 engine’s, and the chassis was constructed from lightweight Duralumin rather than the Type 57’s pressed steel.
Just three chassis were built, but only one complete car (chassis 64001), which was intended for the 1939 Paris Automobile Salon. Instead, war and the death of Jean Bugatti intervened. The completed Type 64, a two-door in similar but less elegant style to the Type 57 Atlantic, was used as a company hack until the 1960s. Now it lives in the Mulhouse Museum.
Initial plans had shown a more sophisticated body design, complete with gullwing doors. It is this design that the renowned Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, is recreating for use on chassis 64002, which had never been fitted with a body.
The new body is being created by the Automobile Metal Shaping Company in Michigan, with design assistance from the Art Center College of Design and Stewart Reed Design.