1931 Bugatti Type 50 Million-Guiet Coupe
1931 Bugatti Type 50 Million-Guiet Coupe

Restored Bugatti Type 50 S at Pebble Beach Concours 2014

A 1931 Bugatti Type 50 S from the Mullin Automotive Museum made its post-restoration debut at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, held August 17th at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.

A rare example, chassis no. 50117 is one of only a handful of surviving Type 50s, and this one the only with Million-Guiet coachwork. The special aluminum coachwork was innovative not only in its aesthetics, but also its construction that enabled three passengers to comfortably fit within. Underneath, the Type 50 was as remarkable with an all-new supercharged inline 8-cylinder engine with dual overhead cams and new engine architecture, which featured a hemispherical combustion chamber and 90-degree inclined valves that made the Type 50 so quick that the model was raced from 1931-1935.

The Mullin Collection’s Bugatti Type 50 is possesses the matching body, chassis and drivetrain that it first came equipped with in 1931. In effort to preserve the Bugatti’s originality, the Mullin Automotive Museum commissioned Logan Calkins of the Alan Taylor Company in Escondido, California to do a sensitive restoration to the Type 50 over the course of six months.

As part of the restoration, one-off galuchat upholstery was handcrafted for the Bugatti’s interior that was bleached, sanded, polished and dyed by Alan Taylor’s team over the course of several hundred hours. During this intensive process, a special sage green dye was mixed with a UV-protectant solvent, giving the stingray leather a translucent sunburst finish. This unique material was a trademark of luxury furniture design of the Art Deco era, yet is seldom seen in automotive restorations.

1931 Bugatti Type 50 Million-Guiet Coupe
Preparing the 1931 Bugatti Type 50 Million-Guiet Coupe at Pebble Beach

“There are a great number of special cars in the Mullin Collection, but the Type 50 has always stood out to me as exceptional,” said Peter Mullin, Chairman of the Mullin Automotive Museum. “Every aspect of this car exemplifies the brilliance and innovation of Jean Bugatti and Million-Guiet. It brings me great joy to preserve their magnificent work and share it with the public for generations to come.”

Following its display at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the 1931 Bugatti Type 50 S returned to the Mullin Automotive Museum as part of “The Art of Bugatti” exhibition, on display through December 31, 2014. For more information, visit MullinAutomotiveMuseum.com.

[Source: Mullin Museum; photos: Sports Car Digest]