March 2, 2015

The Art of Bugatti Exhibit at Mullin Automotive Museum

I'm not much of a car person. I live just blocks away from Beverly Hills and often see cars that are worth more money than my entire income I've ever made in my life times twenty. But let's get real, I live in Los Angeles- the land of car accidents and car dings. Why anyone would pay a high amount of money for a pristine car that someone else is probably going to ruin because you decided to street park for an hour, I'm not sure. Despite all that, it's still fun to visit museums, regardless of the exhibit being featured. I am drawn to pieces of history and the stories that are behind them. Everything old has a story, and it's just waiting to be told to someone who will take the time to listen. 

Saturday morning I drove up the 110 North to make a trip to the Bugatti Exhibit at the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, CA. Not knowing much about the Bugatti brand or of the family of artists that were the Bugatti's, I thought that the museum would only consist of cars. (By the way, did you know that there are only 450 Bugatti Veyron's in the entire world and that they fetch around 2.5 million dollars each? Crazy.) Much to my surprise, the museum contained many paintings, sculptures, and beautiful pieces of furniture. The tour guides were extremely passionate and knowledgeable and I learned quite a few things about the Bugatti family and their pieces of art and engineering. 


My favorite pieces were those made by Carlo and Rembrandt Bugatti. Born in Milan, Carlo was the father to Ettore, Deanice, and Rembrandt Bugatti. While Ettore and his son Jean focused on cars, Carlo and Rembrandt created pieces of art. Carlo designed gorgeous furniture and painted wonderful portraits of his family members. Rembrandt focused on sculptures, mainly of animals. 

Small Panther Sitting, Circa 1907
Portrait de Lidia Bugatti- (Niniette), Carlo Bugatti (1937-38)

The works of both Carlo and Rembrandt Bugatti show skill and attention to detail. Carlo trained at the Milan Brera academy and also at the Paris Academie de Beaux, while his son Rembrandt trained at the Milan Academy of Arts. 


Ettore Bugatti was an artist in his own right, creating a handful of the most historically influential automobiles. His designs were revolutionary and still hold their right today. Together created with his son, Jean, the Bugatti name today holds value of luxury and performance.

1922 Bugatti Type 23, Brescia
Produced in 1922, the Type 23 Brescia set speed records- an astonishing (at the time) 72 MPH. Types 13 to 27 were made from 1920 to 1926.



Bugatti Brescia, Recovored from the Bottom of Lago Maggiore 
Strikingly different from the Brescia pictured above, this 1925 Type 22 Brescia was recovered from the bottom of Lago Maggiore near the Italian-Swiss border in 2009. The car ended up in the lake after the owner, Adelbart Bode, could not pay import taxes, and the Swiss officials were set to destroy it. Although later discovered in 1967, it was not surfaced until 2009. Shortly after recovery, it sold to Peter Mullin (owner of the Mullin Automotive Museum) in 2010 for $310,000.



1929 Bugatti Type 44, Fiacre
Boasting eight cylinders, the Fiacre combined a carriage style body with modern movement. Fiacre (as defined by Mirriam-Webster) stands for "a small hackney coach." Production continued from 1927 to 1930 on this touring-type model.



1931 Bugatti Type 54
Type 54's were built for speed in response to the fast racing cars of Italy and Germany. Unfortunately due to the weight, the 54's would occasionally dismantle, leading to only a few being produced. 



1934 Bugatti Type 57
The Bugatti Type 57 began production in 1934 and featured a chassis design by Ettore. The car was made for Maurice Trintignant.



1939 Bugatti Type 57C, Atalante








Awkward Selfie!
I definitely learned quite a few new things! If you find yourself near the Oxnard area, I suggest you go take a look! The Art of Bugatti Exhibit will only be open for two more Saturdays (March 14th and 28th) before changing to a new exhibit at the museum. 

Mullin Automotive Museum
1421 Emerson Ave.
Oxnard, CA, 93033
(805) 385-5400



5 comments:

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