Robb Design Portfolio: The Bare Essentials

  • Robert Ross

1939 Bugatti Type 64
The Type 64 was the swan song for Jean Bugatti—eldest son of marque founder Ettore—who was killed at age 30 while test-driving a Type 57 C Tank racer. His Type 64 was an evolution of the successful Type 57 S, but only three chassis were made, and one, number 64002 (pictured), remains sans body as an unfinished symphony proclaiming Bugatti’s engineering brilliance. Advanced for its time, the lowered-chassis design maximized aerodynamics and improved handling, while the twin-cam, 3.3-liter engine pushed the proven straight-eight to even greater performance. Rare duralumin alloy and exquisite mechanical details make this bare Bugatti a work of art, one that took the Chairman’s Award at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2002. Stewart Reed Design recently finalized a body design that will be built to clothe the chassis. (The studio refined a design produced through a student competition that Bugatti collector Peter Mullin sponsored at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.) When finished, the car will sport the butterfly doors that Bugatti himself likely intended.

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