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Jean Bugatti's final car completed 73 years after his death

August 07, 2012|By Jerry Hirsch
  • Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, collaborating with Stewart Reed Design of Pasadena and Automobile Metal Shaping Co. of Kimball, Mich., has fit a body to a Bugatti Type 64 chassis that was built just before Jean Bugatti died in 1939.
Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, collaborating with Stewart Reed Design… (Mullin Automotive Museum )

The Mullin Automotive Museum is about to complete a historic automotive project, shut down for decades when legendary automotive designer Jean Bugatti died in a road test crash in 1939.

The Oxnard museum has completed the build of Bugatti’s last car by fitting a body to a Type 64-model chassis that was constructed just before his death at age 30.  

Stewart Reed Design of Pasadena and Automobile Metal Shaping Co. of Kimball, Mich., helped design and build the body, which was mounted on Type 64 Coupe Chassis No. 64002. The team designed a body to mimic what they envisioned Bugatti would have built. They based the body on incomplete sketches left by the designer.

The finished car will make its first public appearance at an event called the Quail: A Motorsports Gathering on Aug. 17 at Quail Lodge in Carmel, Calif., just before the Pebble BeachConcours d'Elegance. It will go on display at the museum after that.

“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 Peter Mullin, chairman of the Mullin Automotive Museum. “I cannot imagine a greater token of respect to the Bugatti family than to help finish Jean Bugatti’s beloved final masterpiece.”

Mullin said the hand-formed body was crafted using many of the same coach-building techniques employed in 1939. It has numerous Bugatti styling cues, including a streamlined appearance, iconic papillon doors and an intricate riveted body structure.

The Mullin museum focuses on the preservation of French art and automobiles from the Art Deco era.

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