This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Photos: Check Out These Rare, Vintage Bugattis At The Petersen Automotive Museum
Us Americans have our muscle cars in our Mustangs and Corvettes. The Brits have their Jaguars and Aston Martins. The Italians have their Lamborghinis. The Japanese, too, can turn out a super-charged ride, like the new Acura NSX, which gets you about 573 horsepower because, you know, sometimes you just want to drive down PCH and tear the scalp off your skull.
For the French, the name of the game had been Bugatti. The company passed hands after its founder, Ettore Bugatti, passed away in 1947. And today the brand is currently owned by the scandal-plagued Volkswagen, so its French ties have been diluted somewhat. Still, for the first half of the 20th century, Bugatti was the car manufacturer that combined steel with a French air of refinement.
This Sunday, the public will be able to admire one of the rarest collections of Bugattis in one place. The exhibit—"The Art of Bugatti"— is at the Petersen Automotive Museum on Museum Row. Visitors will be treated to a spread that covers the manufacturer's storied history; the rides range from a 1925 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix to the 2017 Chiron, which, by the way, costs a hefty $2,600,000. (And let's not forget to factor in the insurance on this thing!)
Even more intriguing, the exhibit extends beyond the cars. As the museum notes, the Bugatti family was like the Royal Tenenbaums of their day. Patriarch Carlo Bugatti (Ettore's dad) was a whiz with architecture, painting, silversmithing, and "Art Nouveau furniture design." And Rembrandt Bugatti (Ettore's bro) made "animal-life sculptures." Ettore's sons, similarly, would be Renaissance men in their own right. As indicated by the title, the exhibit will touch on the works of the famed Bugattis. Included in the collection are Rembrandt's sculptures as well as paintings from both Carlo and Ettore's daughter Lydia.
Whether you're looking to satiate your craving for some automotive eye candy, or you're looking to feel more inadequate about your own family, come check out the exhibit before it closes during the fall of 2017.
The Petersen Automotive Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. Admission prices are $15 for general admission adults, $12 for seniors and students with ID, and $7 for children ages 3 to 12. Active military with ID, personal care attendants, and children under three are admitted for free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m..