Automotive

Art Deco on wheels: The extraordinary Mullin Automotive Museum

Art Deco on wheels: The extrao...
1922 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Two-Seater: widely renowned as one of history's most beautiful - and hence, now priceless, collector cars. Bugatti's Type 13 race cars were fresh off dominating the Italian Grand Prix des Voiturettes outside Brescia, Italy, when this open-top roadster made its debut as a celebration of Bugatti's racing success.
1922 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Two-Seater: widely renowned as one of history's most beautiful - and hence, now priceless, collector cars. Bugatti's Type 13 race cars were fresh off dominating the Italian Grand Prix des Voiturettes outside Brescia, Italy, when this open-top roadster made its debut as a celebration of Bugatti's racing success.
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The Mullin Automotive Museum: the private collection of Peter Mullin, on display
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The Mullin Automotive Museum: the private collection of Peter Mullin, on display
The Mullin Automobile Museum: a celebration of the Art Deco movement in motoring, particularly in France
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The Mullin Automobile Museum: a celebration of the Art Deco movement in motoring, particularly in France
The Mullin Automotive Museum: located in Oxnard, California
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The Mullin Automotive Museum: located in Oxnard, California
1934 Avions Voisin type C27 Grand Sport Roadster, originally built for the Shah of Iran: "Voisin was a company that, like Bugatti, did a lot of their stuff in-house. This car here is a rare example of a Voisin that was coach-built. It was built by Figoni and Felacci, and it was originally built for the Shah of Iran."
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1934 Avions Voisin type C27 Grand Sport Roadster, originally built for the Shah of Iran: "Voisin was a company that, like Bugatti, did a lot of their stuff in-house. This car here is a rare example of a Voisin that was coach-built. It was built by Figoni and Felacci, and it was originally built for the Shah of Iran."
1934 Avions Voisin type C27 Grand Sport Roadster: "the interior features an Ostrich-skin upholstery. This was a one-off. And as I understand, this is not the original color it shipped in."
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1934 Avions Voisin type C27 Grand Sport Roadster: "the interior features an Ostrich-skin upholstery. This was a one-off. And as I understand, this is not the original color it shipped in."
1934 Avions Voisin type C27 Grand Sport Roadster: "for a one-off like this, we have no idea what it would be worth. It's really hard to say, as much as somebody wants to pay for it."
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1934 Avions Voisin type C27 Grand Sport Roadster: "for a one-off like this, we have no idea what it would be worth. It's really hard to say, as much as somebody wants to pay for it."
1934 Avions Voisin type C27 Grand Sport Roadster: 3-litre, 6-cylinder engine making 105 horsepower at 4,000 rpm, mated to a 4-speed semi-automatic transmission
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1934 Avions Voisin type C27 Grand Sport Roadster: 3-litre, 6-cylinder engine making 105 horsepower at 4,000 rpm, mated to a 4-speed semi-automatic transmission
1800s-era Labourdette Dog Cart: so named because it was designed for hunting, with a box for the shooter's retriever dogs to ride in. Founded by French blacksmith Jean-Baptiste Labourdette in 1858, Henri Labourdette Carrossier became one of the best known carriage builders of the 1800s.
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1800s-era Labourdette Dog Cart: so named because it was designed for hunting, with a box for the shooter's retriever dogs to ride in. Founded by French blacksmith Jean-Baptiste Labourdette in 1858, Henri Labourdette Carrossier became one of the best known carriage builders of the 1800s.
1800s-era Labourdette Dog Cart: driving lamp was well sufficient for a one-horsepower vehicle like this.
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1800s-era Labourdette Dog Cart: driving lamp was well sufficient for a one-horsepower vehicle like this.
1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Skiff-Torpedo: Henri Labourdette built this Skiff-Torpedo body for a wealthy French sportswoman  in 1923 - it's the only surviving one of its kind. This body seems to have bounced around a little and been fitted to a number of different chassis, but in recent years it's been put back on an H6B and fully restored.
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1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Skiff-Torpedo: Henri Labourdette built this Skiff-Torpedo body for a wealthy French sportswoman  in 1923 - it's the only surviving one of its kind. This body seems to have bounced around a little and been fitted to a number of different chassis, but in recent years it's been put back on an H6B and fully restored.
1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Skiff-Torpedo: uses a 6.6-liter inline six-cylinder engine making 135 horsepower at 3,800 rpm. "That's a big six. Each cylinder is more than a litre, which is the size of some whole engines nowadays. But it was a low-revving, comfortable sort of engine."
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1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Skiff-Torpedo: uses a 6.6-liter inline six-cylinder engine making 135 horsepower at 3,800 rpm. "That's a big six. Each cylinder is more than a litre, which is the size of some whole engines nowadays. But it was a low-revving, comfortable sort of engine."
1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Skiff-Torpedo: three-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel servo-assisted drum brakes
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1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Skiff-Torpedo: three-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel servo-assisted drum brakes
1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Skiff-Torpedo: gorgeous interior
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1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Skiff-Torpedo: gorgeous interior
1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Skiff-Torpedo: ignition advance/retard wheel took pride of place on the steering wheel and did nothing to stop this car from reminding you of a boat.
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1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Skiff-Torpedo: ignition advance/retard wheel took pride of place on the steering wheel and did nothing to stop this car from reminding you of a boat.
1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Skiff-Torpedo: beautiful lacquered wooden body is clearly inspired by boatbuilding
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1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B Skiff-Torpedo: beautiful lacquered wooden body is clearly inspired by boatbuilding
1919 Avions Voisin Type C1 Limousine, production number #1: the very first car produced as Avions Voisin expanded from building aircraft to including cars at the end of WW1.
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1919 Avions Voisin Type C1 Limousine, production number #1: the very first car produced as Avions Voisin expanded from building aircraft to including cars at the end of WW1.
1919 Avions Voisin Type C1 Limousine: used an inline four-cylinder sleeve-valve engine producing 75 horsepower at 2,400 rpm. This model became an instant success, as one of the few cars ready for sale as World War One ended.
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1919 Avions Voisin Type C1 Limousine: used an inline four-cylinder sleeve-valve engine producing 75 horsepower at 2,400 rpm. This model became an instant success, as one of the few cars ready for sale as World War One ended.
1919 Avions Voisin Type C1 Limousine: these were known in their day for their simple, powerful, almost silent engines, which suited their use in a luxury limousine.
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1919 Avions Voisin Type C1 Limousine: these were known in their day for their simple, powerful, almost silent engines, which suited their use in a luxury limousine.
1928 Avions Voisin Type C11/14CV Lumineuse Sedan: by 1926, Gabriel Voisin had tossed in his racing programmes to focus on safe, reliable and comfortable road cars. The name "Lumineuse" referred to the large amount of glass, which let a lot of natural light into the cabin. It's also notable for the lack of wood in its body design, a significant step forward at the time.
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1928 Avions Voisin Type C11/14CV Lumineuse Sedan: by 1926, Gabriel Voisin had tossed in his racing programmes to focus on safe, reliable and comfortable road cars. The name "Lumineuse" referred to the large amount of glass, which let a lot of natural light into the cabin. It's also notable for the lack of wood in its body design, a significant step forward at the time.
1928 Avions Voisin Type C11/14CV Lumineuse Sedan: production #1 of 1,795 built. Features an aluminum inline six-cylinder sleeve-valve engine making 66 horsepower at 3,200rpm, as well as a three-speed manual gearbox, four wheel servo-assisted drum brakes and a monocoque metal body.
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1928 Avions Voisin Type C11/14CV Lumineuse Sedan: production #1 of 1,795 built. Features an aluminum inline six-cylinder sleeve-valve engine making 66 horsepower at 3,200rpm, as well as a three-speed manual gearbox, four wheel servo-assisted drum brakes and a monocoque metal body.
The Mullins Automotive Museum's current exhibition, "The Art and Times of the French Coachbuilders,"  focusses on the Art Deco movement, particularly through the 1930s
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The Mullins Automotive Museum's current exhibition, "The Art and Times of the French Coachbuilders,"  focusses on the Art Deco movement, particularly through the 1930s
1939 Panhard et Lavassor X81 Dynamic Sedan: back before cars were required to pass modern safety tests, you could build them without giant A-pillars that block your view in corners. This Panhard uses double A-pillars with curved glass to fill in an important blind spot.
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1939 Panhard et Lavassor X81 Dynamic Sedan: back before cars were required to pass modern safety tests, you could build them without giant A-pillars that block your view in corners. This Panhard uses double A-pillars with curved glass to fill in an important blind spot.
1939 Panhard et Lavassor X81 Dynamic Sedan: used an inline six-cylinder Knight sleeve-valved motor with a 3-speed box and rear wheel drive
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1939 Panhard et Lavassor X81 Dynamic Sedan: used an inline six-cylinder Knight sleeve-valved motor with a 3-speed box and rear wheel drive
1937 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: originally built as one of four race cars that struggled to perform against the Mercedes cars of their day, this beauty runs a 5-litre V12 engine making 184 horsepower at 4,000 rpm, through a Cotal four-speed electric gearbox. 
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1937 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: originally built as one of four race cars that struggled to perform against the Mercedes cars of their day, this beauty runs a 5-litre V12 engine making 184 horsepower at 4,000 rpm, through a Cotal four-speed electric gearbox. 
1937 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: the grand touring body was built on this racecar chassis by one Henri Chapron, Carrossier, after the second world war.
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1937 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: the grand touring body was built on this racecar chassis by one Henri Chapron, Carrossier, after the second world war.
1937 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: was  owned by William Procter, of the Procter and Gamble company, in the 1950s and 60s.
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1937 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: was  owned by William Procter, of the Procter and Gamble company, in the 1950s and 60s.
1937 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: was successful in several race events, including international Grands Prix between 1937-39 - but not enough to beat the Mercs of the day.
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1937 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: was successful in several race events, including international Grands Prix between 1937-39 - but not enough to beat the Mercs of the day.
1938 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: another race car from a different series of four, built for the Ecurie Bleue team. Again, it was taken to coachbuilder Henri Chapron after WW2 to get the road car treatment, this time another coupe in more of a grand touring style.
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1938 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: another race car from a different series of four, built for the Ecurie Bleue team. Again, it was taken to coachbuilder Henri Chapron after WW2 to get the road car treatment, this time another coupe in more of a grand touring style.
1938 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: was divorced from its V12 engine under the ownership of Fritz Schlumpf, and fitted with a six. The original motor was tracked down, rebuilt and the whole car restored to show condition by Bill Jacobs, Jr. in 1984.
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1938 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: was divorced from its V12 engine under the ownership of Fritz Schlumpf, and fitted with a six. The original motor was tracked down, rebuilt and the whole car restored to show condition by Bill Jacobs, Jr. in 1984.
1937 Peugeot 402L Cabriolet Metallique Decouvrable: production number 1 of 500, this is one of only two such cars in original condition and unrestored, with just 27,000 km (16780 miles) on the clock and a fully operational hard-top convertible mechanism.
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1937 Peugeot 402L Cabriolet Metallique Decouvrable: production number 1 of 500, this is one of only two such cars in original condition and unrestored, with just 27,000 km (16780 miles) on the clock and a fully operational hard-top convertible mechanism.
1937 Peugeot 402L Cabriolet Metallique Decouvrable: this streamlined front end became a signature element of Peugeot's cars in the thirties. Even for the time, it was regarded as pretty out there in terms of styling!
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1937 Peugeot 402L Cabriolet Metallique Decouvrable: this streamlined front end became a signature element of Peugeot's cars in the thirties. Even for the time, it was regarded as pretty out there in terms of styling!
1937 Peugeot 402L Cabriolet Metallique Decouvrable: this early convertible's interior featured recessed "safety" door handles and a three-speed manual shift
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1937 Peugeot 402L Cabriolet Metallique Decouvrable: this early convertible's interior featured recessed "safety" door handles and a three-speed manual shift
1937 Peugeot 402L Cabriolet Metallique Decouvrable: its inline four-cylinder engine made 55 horsepower at 4,000 rpm
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1937 Peugeot 402L Cabriolet Metallique Decouvrable: its inline four-cylinder engine made 55 horsepower at 4,000 rpm
1953 Voisin Type C31 Biscooter: #10 out of 15 prototype models, the Biscooter was conceived as a little town getabout that could be driven without a license, seating two. 
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1953 Voisin Type C31 Biscooter: #10 out of 15 prototype models, the Biscooter was conceived as a little town getabout that could be driven without a license, seating two. 
1953 Voisin Type C31 Biscooter: lightweight aluminum chassis and bodywork reflects Voisin's aerospace heritage.
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1953 Voisin Type C31 Biscooter: lightweight aluminum chassis and bodywork reflects Voisin's aerospace heritage.
1953 Voisin Type C31 Biscooter: a low-cost option for cash-strapped post-war Europeans, this little fella used a humble 125cc two-stroke single from Gnome & Rhone. It never hit the market until the design was later licensed to Spanish firm Autonacional SA in Barcelona, who sold 12,000 units using a 197cc motor.
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1953 Voisin Type C31 Biscooter: a low-cost option for cash-strapped post-war Europeans, this little fella used a humble 125cc two-stroke single from Gnome & Rhone. It never hit the market until the design was later licensed to Spanish firm Autonacional SA in Barcelona, who sold 12,000 units using a 197cc motor.
1963 Citroen DS19 Concorde: although coachbuilding was pretty much a lost art by the 1960s, Henri Chapron was still doing his impressive thing. 38 of these Concordes were built, for customers looking to bump up the luxury, exclusivity and rear seat leg room of their Citroens. This is the first off the line.
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1963 Citroen DS19 Concorde: although coachbuilding was pretty much a lost art by the 1960s, Henri Chapron was still doing his impressive thing. 38 of these Concordes were built, for customers looking to bump up the luxury, exclusivity and rear seat leg room of their Citroens. This is the first off the line.
1963 Citroen DS19 Concorde: features innovative turning headlights.
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1963 Citroen DS19 Concorde: features innovative turning headlights.
1966 Citroen DS21 LE LeMan: retaining DS21's famous hydropneumatic suspension, which would allow the car to balance on three wheels, Henri Chapron built this LeMan hardtop body - but by this point, Citroen was no longer supplying Chapron with bare chassis or engines. He had to buy entire cars, strip them and build them up again. The writing was on the wall for the coachbuilding business.
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1966 Citroen DS21 LE LeMan: retaining DS21's famous hydropneumatic suspension, which would allow the car to balance on three wheels, Henri Chapron built this LeMan hardtop body - but by this point, Citroen was no longer supplying Chapron with bare chassis or engines. He had to buy entire cars, strip them and build them up again. The writing was on the wall for the coachbuilding business.
While Henri Chapron died in 1978 at the age of 92, his company continued operations until 1985.
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While Henri Chapron died in 1978 at the age of 92, his company continued operations until 1985.
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis: of the 96 Type 57C models Bugatti produced between 1936-9, only three were made in this Aravis style. This is the last, and it was sold at a discounted price of 105,000 Francs to Maurice Trintignant, a personal friend of Jean Bugatti, who told him this was the most beautiful of the type 57s.
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1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis: of the 96 Type 57C models Bugatti produced between 1936-9, only three were made in this Aravis style. This is the last, and it was sold at a discounted price of 105,000 Francs to Maurice Trintignant, a personal friend of Jean Bugatti, who told him this was the most beautiful of the type 57s.
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis: its huge grille conceals a 3,257 cc, supercharged  inline eight-cylinder engine producing 170 horsepower at 5,000 rpm
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1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis: its huge grille conceals a 3,257 cc, supercharged  inline eight-cylinder engine producing 170 horsepower at 5,000 rpm
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis: Peter Mullin bought this car in 2002, and restored it with the personal guidance of the original owner, Maurice Trintingent, who regretted ever having sold the thing at the end of the second World War.
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1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis: Peter Mullin bought this car in 2002, and restored it with the personal guidance of the original owner, Maurice Trintingent, who regretted ever having sold the thing at the end of the second World War.
1994 Bugatti EB 110 SuperSport "Le Mans": when Bugatti was resurrected in 1987 by Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli, he created a new factory and design center, and brought in key members of the team that designed the radical Lamborghini Countach to work with his chief styling architect Gianpaolo Benedini. This is production #1 - both of the resulting EB110 and this lighter, faster SS Le Mans version.
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1994 Bugatti EB 110 SuperSport "Le Mans": when Bugatti was resurrected in 1987 by Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli, he created a new factory and design center, and brought in key members of the team that designed the radical Lamborghini Countach to work with his chief styling architect Gianpaolo Benedini. This is production #1 - both of the resulting EB110 and this lighter, faster SS Le Mans version.
1994 Bugatti EB 110 SuperSport "Le Mans": a 3.5 liter V12 engine with four turbochargers gave this beast some 700 horsepower at 8,250 rpm, and a blistering top speed of 232 mph. 
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1994 Bugatti EB 110 SuperSport "Le Mans": a 3.5 liter V12 engine with four turbochargers gave this beast some 700 horsepower at 8,250 rpm, and a blistering top speed of 232 mph. 
1994 Bugatti EB 110 SuperSport "Le Mans": the model was launched at an unfortunate time, when the excesses of the 1980s gave way to a more austere 1990s economic climate. Only 139 were made.
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1994 Bugatti EB 110 SuperSport "Le Mans": the model was launched at an unfortunate time, when the excesses of the 1980s gave way to a more austere 1990s economic climate. Only 139 were made.
1994 Bugatti EB 110 SuperSport "Le Mans": only three of the SuperSport Le Mans editions were ever made, each likely intended for motorsport purposes
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1994 Bugatti EB 110 SuperSport "Le Mans": only three of the SuperSport Le Mans editions were ever made, each likely intended for motorsport purposes
1994 Bugatti EB 110 SuperSport "Le Mans": one of the tiniest of the Bugatti horseshoes
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1994 Bugatti EB 110 SuperSport "Le Mans": one of the tiniest of the Bugatti horseshoes
1965 Citroen DS19 Majesty: a Henri Chapron creation on behalf of Citroen, aimed at folks who found the DS Prestige not quite exclusive enough.
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1965 Citroen DS19 Majesty: a Henri Chapron creation on behalf of Citroen, aimed at folks who found the DS Prestige not quite exclusive enough.
1965 Citroen DS19 Majesty: featured a higher and more angular roofline, with more space and headroom, particularly in the back seats.
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1965 Citroen DS19 Majesty: featured a higher and more angular roofline, with more space and headroom, particularly in the back seats.
1965 Citroen DS19 Majesty: this example was ordered by Rene Gaston-Dreyfus in 1964 with a huge list of "very specific demands," including coach-style doors with the rear doors hinged at the back, an electrically operated privacy panel, power windows and double ashtrays in the back seats, and a Becker Mexico radio with a power antenna.
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1965 Citroen DS19 Majesty: this example was ordered by Rene Gaston-Dreyfus in 1964 with a huge list of "very specific demands," including coach-style doors with the rear doors hinged at the back, an electrically operated privacy panel, power windows and double ashtrays in the back seats, and a Becker Mexico radio with a power antenna.
1982 Citroen 2CV Charleston: this little getabout was released as a special edition, harking back to the Art Deco era. But it proved so cute and popular with under 35s that eventually 8,000 were sold. This is the first off the line.
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1982 Citroen 2CV Charleston: this little getabout was released as a special edition, harking back to the Art Deco era. But it proved so cute and popular with under 35s that eventually 8,000 were sold. This is the first off the line.
1982 Citroen 2CV Charleston: got a nice boost by appearing in the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only."
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1982 Citroen 2CV Charleston: got a nice boost by appearing in the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only."
1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet: this is the first Type 46 ever to roll off the line, but nothing is known about the car's original owner.
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1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet: this is the first Type 46 ever to roll off the line, but nothing is known about the car's original owner.
1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet: beautiful headlights
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1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet: beautiful headlights
1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet: used a 5,359 cc overhead cam, inline eight-cylinder engine, good for 140 horses at 3,500 rpm, as well as a three-speed manual gearbox
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1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet: used a 5,359 cc overhead cam, inline eight-cylinder engine, good for 140 horses at 3,500 rpm, as well as a three-speed manual gearbox
1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet: brake actuators
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1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet: brake actuators
1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet: ran not one, but two spare tires, an indication perhaps of the quality of tire and road it had to deal with
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1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet: ran not one, but two spare tires, an indication perhaps of the quality of tire and road it had to deal with
1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: yes, it's got a little wet. This astonishing piece lived 173 feet down, at the bottom of Lake Maggiore on the border of Italy and Switzerland, for almost 75 years, becoming a bit of a local legend to folk who couldn't believe such a priceless car could possibly be down there. It had been deliberately dropped there by the Swiss police when its driver, playboy Adalbert Bode, had tried to cross the border without bringing any cash to pay customs on it. No taxes, no car, he was told, and he abandoned the car there for the police to deal with it.
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1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: yes, it's got a little wet. This astonishing piece lived 173 feet down, at the bottom of Lake Maggiore on the border of Italy and Switzerland, for almost 75 years, becoming a bit of a local legend to folk who couldn't believe such a priceless car could possibly be down there. It had been deliberately dropped there by the Swiss police when its driver, playboy Adalbert Bode, had tried to cross the border without bringing any cash to pay customs on it. No taxes, no car, he was told, and he abandoned the car there for the police to deal with it.
1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: Bode was said to have won this car from legendary racer Rene Dreyfus in a poker game after a couple of bottles of champagne, and didn't seem too concerned about leaving it behind at the border, perhaps as he'd had little time to bond with it.
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1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: Bode was said to have won this car from legendary racer Rene Dreyfus in a poker game after a couple of bottles of champagne, and didn't seem too concerned about leaving it behind at the border, perhaps as he'd had little time to bond with it.
1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: the police held the car for several years, after which procedure demanded they destroy it. They chose to do so by sinking it in the lake. Originally, they left some chains attached to hold it at a depth of 35 feet, but the chains fatigued and snapped due to the passage of time and the car dropped to the bottom of the lake.
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1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: the police held the car for several years, after which procedure demanded they destroy it. They chose to do so by sinking it in the lake. Originally, they left some chains attached to hold it at a depth of 35 feet, but the chains fatigued and snapped due to the passage of time and the car dropped to the bottom of the lake.
1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: when built, it was a lightweight, fast car that could hit the imperial ton, 100mph, despite only making 40 horsepower. It was a rare machine even before it became a shipwreck.
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1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: when built, it was a lightweight, fast car that could hit the imperial ton, 100mph, despite only making 40 horsepower. It was a rare machine even before it became a shipwreck.
1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: the car was finally pulled out by a team of over 30 volunteers in 2009. It was auctioned to raise money for a charity against youth violence, after a young man was beaten to death at a carnival in the nearby town of Locarno.
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1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: the car was finally pulled out by a team of over 30 volunteers in 2009. It was auctioned to raise money for a charity against youth violence, after a young man was beaten to death at a carnival in the nearby town of Locarno.
1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: if the auction had fallen a different way, this car may have been restored, as that was the intention of the underbidder. We're glad Mullin got his hands on it instead! 93 years after it was built, the Bugatti of the Lake is a stunning and haunting museum piece
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1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: if the auction had fallen a different way, this car may have been restored, as that was the intention of the underbidder. We're glad Mullin got his hands on it instead! 93 years after it was built, the Bugatti of the Lake is a stunning and haunting museum piece
1939 Bugatti Type 64 coachwork buck: these wooden ribs provided structural support as the coachwork was built, and allowed designers to make last minute changes to shape and style
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1939 Bugatti Type 64 coachwork buck: these wooden ribs provided structural support as the coachwork was built, and allowed designers to make last minute changes to shape and style
1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe: Three Type 64 chassis were produced, of which this is the second. Jean Bugatti didn't survive to put the coachwork on, being killed in a road testing accident in 1939. But this is perhaps the first car ever to rock upward-opening doors. Slightly different from the gullwing doors that popularized the idea, the Type 64 uses what Bugatti called 'Papillon' - or butterfly doors.
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1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe: Three Type 64 chassis were produced, of which this is the second. Jean Bugatti didn't survive to put the coachwork on, being killed in a road testing accident in 1939. But this is perhaps the first car ever to rock upward-opening doors. Slightly different from the gullwing doors that popularized the idea, the Type 64 uses what Bugatti called 'Papillon' - or butterfly doors.
1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe: the lightweight duralumin chassis bounced around between several collections before ending up with Peter Mullin in 2003. Working with Stewart Reed Design and the Art Center College of Design, along with sketches Jean Bugatti made before his death, Mullin commissioned and built the extraordinary bare metal coachwork it wears today.
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1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe: the lightweight duralumin chassis bounced around between several collections before ending up with Peter Mullin in 2003. Working with Stewart Reed Design and the Art Center College of Design, along with sketches Jean Bugatti made before his death, Mullin commissioned and built the extraordinary bare metal coachwork it wears today.
1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe: uses a 3.3-litre, 155-horsepower, eight-cylinder engine with a 4-speed Cotal gearbox. The completion of the bodywork is one of Peter Mullin's proudest achievements: "I cannot imagine a greater token of respect to the Bugatti family than to help finish Jean Bugatti’s beloved final masterpiece."
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1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe: uses a 3.3-litre, 155-horsepower, eight-cylinder engine with a 4-speed Cotal gearbox. The completion of the bodywork is one of Peter Mullin's proudest achievements: "I cannot imagine a greater token of respect to the Bugatti family than to help finish Jean Bugatti’s beloved final masterpiece."
1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe: interior and dash
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1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe: interior and dash
1929 Bugatti Type 43/44 Roadster Luxe: born as a race car, this one was originally raced by Albert Divo in the Irish TT. It wasn't going to beat the Mercedes, though, so it was retired and sent to Carosserie Figoni, where they pulled the race body off and re-built it as an open-top roadster.
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1929 Bugatti Type 43/44 Roadster Luxe: born as a race car, this one was originally raced by Albert Divo in the Irish TT. It wasn't going to beat the Mercedes, though, so it was retired and sent to Carosserie Figoni, where they pulled the race body off and re-built it as an open-top roadster.
1929 Bugatti Type 43/44 Roadster Luxe: after the death of its first owner (at least in the guise of a road car), this car bounced around a bit and eventually disappeared off the record. In 1957 it was found in a French junkyard, and painstakingly restored with a new Type 44 engine. 
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1929 Bugatti Type 43/44 Roadster Luxe: after the death of its first owner (at least in the guise of a road car), this car bounced around a bit and eventually disappeared off the record. In 1957 it was found in a French junkyard, and painstakingly restored with a new Type 44 engine. 
1929 Bugatti Type 43/44 Roadster Luxe: electric starter motor, still placed where the hand crank would sit
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1929 Bugatti Type 43/44 Roadster Luxe: electric starter motor, still placed where the hand crank would sit
1978 Citroen Dyane: based on the chassis of the 2CV, 1,443,585 of these 28-horsepower cuties were built. This is the first one off the production line. It was intended to be a modern, hip replacement for the utilitarian 2CV, and featured a nifty roll-back canvas roof.
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1978 Citroen Dyane: based on the chassis of the 2CV, 1,443,585 of these 28-horsepower cuties were built. This is the first one off the production line. It was intended to be a modern, hip replacement for the utilitarian 2CV, and featured a nifty roll-back canvas roof.
1960 Citroen 2CV Camionette: the first of nearly one and a quarter million of these bug-eyed mini-trucks to come off the line, and an extra-utility work version of one of France's most legendary cars. Keep scrolling to see the original 2CV sedan that started it all.
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1960 Citroen 2CV Camionette: the first of nearly one and a quarter million of these bug-eyed mini-trucks to come off the line, and an extra-utility work version of one of France's most legendary cars. Keep scrolling to see the original 2CV sedan that started it all.
1951 Delahaye Type 235 Cabriolet: this straight six-cylinder, 3.5-litre Delahaye has a coach-built body by Jacques Saoutchik. It's #5 of 84 produced.
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1951 Delahaye Type 235 Cabriolet: this straight six-cylinder, 3.5-litre Delahaye has a coach-built body by Jacques Saoutchik. It's #5 of 84 produced.
1951 Delahaye Type 235 Cabriolet: interior
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1951 Delahaye Type 235 Cabriolet: interior
1951 Delahaye Type 235 Cabriolet: how's that for a stylish tail?
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1951 Delahaye Type 235 Cabriolet: how's that for a stylish tail?
1951 Delahaye Type 235 Cabriolet: a gorgeous grille from the days when cars were beautiful objects
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1951 Delahaye Type 235 Cabriolet: a gorgeous grille from the days when cars were beautiful objects
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante: coach-built by Carrosserie Gangloff, this was one of the first chassis built by Bugatti after World War 2, from parts that had survived the German occupation of France.
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1939 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante: coach-built by Carrosserie Gangloff, this was one of the first chassis built by Bugatti after World War 2, from parts that had survived the German occupation of France.
The Mullin Automotive Museum's tribute to the great French coachbuilders of the last century.
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The Mullin Automotive Museum's tribute to the great French coachbuilders of the last century.
1928 Citroen B14 Coupe: the unique paint job here is the design of Ukrainian artist Sonia Delaunay, known with her husband Robert as the founders of the Simultanism and Orphism art movements. She "often created fashions to go with her painted cars."
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1928 Citroen B14 Coupe: the unique paint job here is the design of Ukrainian artist Sonia Delaunay, known with her husband Robert as the founders of the Simultanism and Orphism art movements. She "often created fashions to go with her painted cars."
1938 Citroen 11B Traction Avant Coupe: Traction Avant is French for front wheel drive - and the 11B was the first mass-produced front-wheel drive automobile with a steel monocoque body. This fully restored beauty is the first of just 15 11Bs ever manufactured.
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1938 Citroen 11B Traction Avant Coupe: Traction Avant is French for front wheel drive - and the 11B was the first mass-produced front-wheel drive automobile with a steel monocoque body. This fully restored beauty is the first of just 15 11Bs ever manufactured.
1923 Citroen 5CV: 856 cc, 11 horsepower and a top speed of 37 miles per hour. The 5CV was particularly popular with women, as its electric starter meant no hand cranking was required to get it going. This is the first of 80,759 to be produced.
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1923 Citroen 5CV: 856 cc, 11 horsepower and a top speed of 37 miles per hour. The 5CV was particularly popular with women, as its electric starter meant no hand cranking was required to get it going. This is the first of 80,759 to be produced.
1923 Citroen 5CV: tapered rear trunk feels like a nod to the marine world.
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1923 Citroen 5CV: tapered rear trunk feels like a nod to the marine world.
1952 Citroen 2CV: another of Peter Mullin's many first editions, this is #1 of 3,867,932 units of this legendary French getabout  to be built in an amazing 42-year model lifespan. Its name - deux cheveaux vapeur - translated to "two steam horses," and it was built as a means to get French farmers away from the horse and cart and into the modern age.The Nazis may have got their hands on this innovative design if it wasn't for the mischievous actions of  Citroen design chief Pierre-Jules Boulanger, who had his prototypes and design plans hidden away behind fake walls and in haylofts during the German occupation of France.
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1952 Citroen 2CV: another of Peter Mullin's many first editions, this is #1 of 3,867,932 units of this legendary French getabout  to be built in an amazing 42-year model lifespan. Its name - deux cheveaux vapeur - translated to "two steam horses," and it was built as a means to get French farmers away from the horse and cart and into the modern age.The Nazis may have got their hands on this innovative design if it wasn't for the mischievous actions of  Citroen design chief Pierre-Jules Boulanger, who had his prototypes and design plans hidden away behind fake walls and in haylofts during the German occupation of France.
The Mullins Automotive Museum: a compelling tribute to the beautiful cars of the Art Deco era
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The Mullins Automotive Museum: a compelling tribute to the beautiful cars of the Art Deco era
The Mullins Automotive Museum: in Oxnard, California
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The Mullins Automotive Museum: in Oxnard, California
The Mullins Automotive Museum: a gorgeous collection and well worth a visit
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The Mullins Automotive Museum: a gorgeous collection and well worth a visit
1922 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Two-Seater: widely renowned as one of history's most beautiful - and hence, now priceless, collector cars. Bugatti's Type 13 race cars were fresh off dominating the Italian Grand Prix des Voiturettes outside Brescia, Italy, when this open-top roadster made its debut as a celebration of Bugatti's racing success.
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1922 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Two-Seater: widely renowned as one of history's most beautiful - and hence, now priceless, collector cars. Bugatti's Type 13 race cars were fresh off dominating the Italian Grand Prix des Voiturettes outside Brescia, Italy, when this open-top roadster made its debut as a celebration of Bugatti's racing success.
1922 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Two-Seater: cable operated hand brakes were only operational on the rear wheels; Bugattis, as the saying went at the time, were built to go, not to stop. Even a wreck of one of these iconic thoroughbred roadsters is worth around the million dollar mark, with pristine examples like this carrying "incalculable" value, according to Prettymotors.
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1922 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Two-Seater: cable operated hand brakes were only operational on the rear wheels; Bugattis, as the saying went at the time, were built to go, not to stop. Even a wreck of one of these iconic thoroughbred roadsters is worth around the million dollar mark, with pristine examples like this carrying "incalculable" value, according to Prettymotors.
1922 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Two-Seater: cabin would've been snug with two on board!
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1922 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Two-Seater: cabin would've been snug with two on board!
1937 Delahaye Type 145 V-12 Grand Prix: this is #1 of 4 race cars built for Americans Laury and Lucy Schell to race the Prix du Million, a million-franc circuit race designed to encourage French manufacturers to knock the German cars off the top rungs of racing.
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1937 Delahaye Type 145 V-12 Grand Prix: this is #1 of 4 race cars built for Americans Laury and Lucy Schell to race the Prix du Million, a million-franc circuit race designed to encourage French manufacturers to knock the German cars off the top rungs of racing.
1937 Delahaye Type 145 V-12 Grand Prix: driven by Rene Dreyfus in "the performance of his life," at Montlhery racetrack in 1937, this beast set a new record, with an average speed of 91 mph over 16 laps. Dreyfus beat the Germans, claimed the prize for Delahaye, and instantly became a national hero in France.
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1937 Delahaye Type 145 V-12 Grand Prix: driven by Rene Dreyfus in "the performance of his life," at Montlhery racetrack in 1937, this beast set a new record, with an average speed of 91 mph over 16 laps. Dreyfus beat the Germans, claimed the prize for Delahaye, and instantly became a national hero in France.
1937 Delahaye Type 145 V-12 Grand Prix: after winning the Prix du Million, this car went on to take first places in the Grand Prix de Pau and Grand Prix de Cork in 1938, as well as fourth place in the Mille Miglia - after which World War 2 put a stop to the merriment of racing.
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1937 Delahaye Type 145 V-12 Grand Prix: after winning the Prix du Million, this car went on to take first places in the Grand Prix de Pau and Grand Prix de Cork in 1938, as well as fourth place in the Mille Miglia - after which World War 2 put a stop to the merriment of racing.
1922 Avions Voisin Type C3 S "Strasbourg": four of these 120-horsepower, 4-litre inline fours were entered in the 1922 ACF Grand Prix de Tourisme in Strasbourg, and they placed first, second, third and fifth. This one's production #1, and is believed to be the one that came in first.
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1922 Avions Voisin Type C3 S "Strasbourg": four of these 120-horsepower, 4-litre inline fours were entered in the 1922 ACF Grand Prix de Tourisme in Strasbourg, and they placed first, second, third and fifth. This one's production #1, and is believed to be the one that came in first.
1963 Citroen DS19 Le Dandy: another Henri Chapron-coachbuilt Citroen.
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1963 Citroen DS19 Le Dandy: another Henri Chapron-coachbuilt Citroen.
1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette: named after the Spanish king of the day, this is widely regarded as being one of the world's first sports cars, since its chassis and engine placement gave it impressive performance capabilities both at speed and in the corners.
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1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette: named after the Spanish king of the day, this is widely regarded as being one of the world's first sports cars, since its chassis and engine placement gave it impressive performance capabilities both at speed and in the corners.
1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette: used a 64-horsepower, 3.6-litre, inline four engine, giving it a maximum speed around 80mph - an absolutely shocking achievement in its day.
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1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette: used a 64-horsepower, 3.6-litre, inline four engine, giving it a maximum speed around 80mph - an absolutely shocking achievement in its day.
1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette: things have changed a touch on the dash in the last 107 years.
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1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette: things have changed a touch on the dash in the last 107 years.
1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette: spare tire
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1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette: spare tire
1924 Bucciali Type B6: Bucciali was a French automaker between 1922 and 1933, and the B6-C24 was a hyper-streamlined racecar prototype in its day, with a teardrop-tapered rear end that was inspired by the rapid rise of aviation. 
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1924 Bucciali Type B6: Bucciali was a French automaker between 1922 and 1933, and the B6-C24 was a hyper-streamlined racecar prototype in its day, with a teardrop-tapered rear end that was inspired by the rapid rise of aviation. 
1924 Bucciali Type B6: destroyed in a crash in the Spanish Grand Prix of 1927 after three years of racing, this Buc was painstakingly and precisely restored by collector Uwe Hucke over a period of 13 years to become the only original B6-C24 in existence. That gearshift pattern was likely written on the dash in 1999, when this beauty was driven at the historic hill climb in Gallion.
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1924 Bucciali Type B6: destroyed in a crash in the Spanish Grand Prix of 1927 after three years of racing, this Buc was painstakingly and precisely restored by collector Uwe Hucke over a period of 13 years to become the only original B6-C24 in existence. That gearshift pattern was likely written on the dash in 1999, when this beauty was driven at the historic hill climb in Gallion.
1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette: these aren't even particularly early Michelin tires. The company was founded in 1889, just four years after Karl Benz built what's usually regarded as the very first automobile.
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1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette: these aren't even particularly early Michelin tires. The company was founded in 1889, just four years after Karl Benz built what's usually regarded as the very first automobile.
1935 Bugatti Type 59/50S: a Grand Prix racer of its day, famous for the fact that its driver, Robert Benoist, had to jump out of the car mid-lap to replace the hood when it fell off during the race.
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1935 Bugatti Type 59/50S: a Grand Prix racer of its day, famous for the fact that its driver, Robert Benoist, had to jump out of the car mid-lap to replace the hood when it fell off during the race.
1950 Talbot-Lago T26C Grand Prix: a factory race car that competed in the very first Formula One Grand Prix around europe in 1950. Its most recent race was in 2005, at the Rolex Historic Automobile Races in Monterey.
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1950 Talbot-Lago T26C Grand Prix: a factory race car that competed in the very first Formula One Grand Prix around europe in 1950. Its most recent race was in 2005, at the Rolex Historic Automobile Races in Monterey.
1950 Talbot-Lago T26C Grand Prix: independent front suspension
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1950 Talbot-Lago T26C Grand Prix: independent front suspension
1950 Talbot-Lago T26C Grand Prix: used a 4.5-liter, inline six-cylinder engine making 250 horsepower at 4,500 rpm. That was good for a blistering top speed around 166 miles per hour.
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1950 Talbot-Lago T26C Grand Prix: used a 4.5-liter, inline six-cylinder engine making 250 horsepower at 4,500 rpm. That was good for a blistering top speed around 166 miles per hour.
1948 Delahaye Type 175 GP: as well as its optimistic raised-eyebrow fenders, this racecar featured a 99-mph top speed
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1948 Delahaye Type 175 GP: as well as its optimistic raised-eyebrow fenders, this racecar featured a 99-mph top speed
The Mullins Automotive Museum: now featuring the pinnacle of Art Deco motoring, with an exhibition featuring the work of the great French coachbuilders
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The Mullins Automotive Museum: now featuring the pinnacle of Art Deco motoring, with an exhibition featuring the work of the great French coachbuilders

Peter Mullin made his fortune in insurance, but has spent much of it building an absolutely stunning collection of cars from his favorite era: the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 30s, when French coachbuilders were making some of the prettiest cars in automotive history.

Mullin, co-founder of the M Financial Group, has long been a fanatical collector of cars. He's the current President of the American Bugatti Club, a member of the Bugatti Trust, and a board member at both the Autry National Center and the Guggenheim Foundation, among many other philanthropic works, most of which have aesthetic beauty of some sort or another at their heart. Since 2010, the Mullin Museum has been open to the public.

The Mullins Automotive Museum: a gorgeous collection and well worth a visit
The Mullins Automotive Museum: a gorgeous collection and well worth a visit

Mullin Museum docent, David Buchko, explained the focus of the current exhibition: L'Epoque des Carrossiers / The Art and Times of the French Coachbuilders.

"We're focusing here on coachbuilders," says Buchko, "because back in the day, if you were a person of means, you wouldn't just go to a company like Delahey or Delage and just buy one of their cars. What you'd do is go to the showroom, figure out what manufacturer you wanted to work with, and then turn to one of these coachbuilders, whether it was a Labourdette, Figoni et Falaschi or Henri Chapron, and they would design a body for you, to go on the chassis from the manufacturer of your choice.

"Some months later, you'd get your car. That's how it was done. Usually one-off or very limited production. Generally not assembly line, although we do have some examples of cars that were. So that's why the museum looks the way it does."

1937 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: originally built as one of four race cars that struggled to perform against the Mercedes cars of their day, this beauty runs a 5-litre V12 engine making 184 horsepower at 4,000 rpm, through a Cotal four-speed electric gearbox. 
1937 Delahaye Type 145 V12 Coupe: originally built as one of four race cars that struggled to perform against the Mercedes cars of their day, this beauty runs a 5-litre V12 engine making 184 horsepower at 4,000 rpm, through a Cotal four-speed electric gearbox. 

The Mullin Museum in Oxnard, California

"This building actually has been the Mullin Museum since about 2010," says Buchko. "But before that, this space belonged to Otis Chandler, the late publisher of the LA Times, and this is where he housed his collection of cars, motorcycles and such. After he passed and his collection was liquidated, Peter bought this space, and now it's a museum and event venue.

"One of Peter's passions is the Art Deco era and movement. One of the things I learned coming here and working with these folks was that there was an event in Paris called l'Exposition des Arts Decoratifs. If you truncate that down, what you get is "Art Deco" - so that name we recognize and connect with that period of design, aesthetics and philosophy, it all came from that exhibition in Paris in 1925. The movement didn't start then, obviously, but the name was coined there.

1937 Delahaye Type 145 V-12 Grand Prix: after winning the Prix du Million, this car went on to take first places in the Grand Prix de Pau and Grand Prix de Cork in 1938, as well as fourth place in the Mille Miglia - after which World War 2 put a stop to the merriment of racing.
1937 Delahaye Type 145 V-12 Grand Prix: after winning the Prix du Million, this car went on to take first places in the Grand Prix de Pau and Grand Prix de Cork in 1938, as well as fourth place in the Mille Miglia - after which World War 2 put a stop to the merriment of racing.

"As we can see through the museum, that Art Deco aesthetic didn't just affect the automotive world. It affected everything, from architecture to furniture to fashion, everything you could possibly imagine. So this exhibition isn't just about cars by any means.

"But there are a lot of influences that go into car design. Obviously, aircraft design was a big influence, like it was here in the 1950s with the big fins and all that sort of thing. But also boatbuilders."

Notable in its absence from this collection was a stunning US$40 million dollar Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic, owned jointly by the Walton family and the Mullin museum, which recently won the 2018 Best of the Best award at the Peninsula Classic in Paris. This award takes the winners from eight of the most important concours events globally, and pits them against one another to choose a 'champion of champions' - the greatest concours car in the world. Such is the storied magnetism of the Atlantic that even against the world's top competition, the contest was almost universally acknowledged as being over the minute this car was entered.

Of course, there's still a plethora of fascinating vehicles on display, and when it comes to historic machines like these, each has a story behind it.

1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: yes, it's got a little wet. This astonishing piece lived 173 feet down, at the bottom of Lake Maggiore on the border of Italy and Switzerland, for almost 75 years, becoming a bit of a local legend to folk who couldn't believe such a priceless car could possibly be down there. It had been deliberately dropped there by the Swiss police when its driver, playboy Adalbert Bode, had tried to cross the border without bringing any cash to pay customs on it. No taxes, no car, he was told, and he abandoned the car there for the police to deal with it.
1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster: yes, it's got a little wet. This astonishing piece lived 173 feet down, at the bottom of Lake Maggiore on the border of Italy and Switzerland, for almost 75 years, becoming a bit of a local legend to folk who couldn't believe such a priceless car could possibly be down there. It had been deliberately dropped there by the Swiss police when its driver, playboy Adalbert Bode, had tried to cross the border without bringing any cash to pay customs on it. No taxes, no car, he was told, and he abandoned the car there for the police to deal with it.

The 1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster above is a case in point. Yes, it got a little wet. This astonishing piece lived 173 feet down, at the bottom of Lake Maggiore on the border of Italy and Switzerland, for almost 75 years, becoming a bit of a local legend to folk who couldn't believe such a priceless car could possibly be down there. It had been deliberately dropped there by the Swiss police when its driver, playboy Adalbert Bode, had tried to cross the border without bringing any cash to pay customs on it. No taxes, no car, he was told, and he abandoned the car there for the police to deal with it.

1924 Bucciali Type B6: destroyed in a crash in the Spanish Grand Prix of 1927 after three years of racing, this Buc was painstakingly and precisely restored by collector Uwe Hucke over a period of 13 years to become the only original B6-C24 in existence. That gearshift pattern was likely written on the dash in 1999, when this beauty was driven at the historic hill climb in Gallion.
1924 Bucciali Type B6: destroyed in a crash in the Spanish Grand Prix of 1927 after three years of racing, this Buc was painstakingly and precisely restored by collector Uwe Hucke over a period of 13 years to become the only original B6-C24 in existence. That gearshift pattern was likely written on the dash in 1999, when this beauty was driven at the historic hill climb in Gallion.

This 1924 Bucciali Type B6 was destroyed in a crash in the Spanish Grand Prix of 1927 after three years of racing, but was painstakingly and precisely restored by collector Uwe Hucke over a period of 13 years to become the only original B6-C24 in existence. That gearshift pattern was likely written on the dash in 1999, when this beauty was driven at the historic hill climb in Gallion.

1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe: the lightweight duralumin chassis bounced around between several collections before ending up with Peter Mullin in 2003. Working with Stewart Reed Design and the Art Center College of Design, along with sketches Jean Bugatti made before his death, Mullin commissioned and built the extraordinary bare metal coachwork it wears today.
1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe: the lightweight duralumin chassis bounced around between several collections before ending up with Peter Mullin in 2003. Working with Stewart Reed Design and the Art Center College of Design, along with sketches Jean Bugatti made before his death, Mullin commissioned and built the extraordinary bare metal coachwork it wears today.

The lightweight duralumin chassis of this 1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe bounced around between several collections before ending up with Peter Mullin in 2003. Working with Stewart Reed Design and the Art Center College of Design, along with sketches Jean Bugatti made before his death, Mullin commissioned and built the extraordinary bare metal coachwork it wears today. The completion of the bodywork is one of Peter Mullin's proudest achievements: "I cannot imagine a greater token of respect to the Bugatti family than to help finish Jean Bugatti's beloved final masterpiece."

1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette: named after the Spanish king of the day, this is widely regarded as being one of the world's first sports cars, since its chassis and engine placement gave it impressive performance capabilities both at speed and in the corners.
1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette: named after the Spanish king of the day, this is widely regarded as being one of the world's first sports cars, since its chassis and engine placement gave it impressive performance capabilities both at speed and in the corners.

Another of the many highlights is this 1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR (15-45CV) Type "Alfonso XIII" Voiturette. Named after the Spanish king of the day, this is widely regarded as being one of the world's first sports cars, since its chassis and engine placement gave it impressive performance capabilities both at speed and in the corners.

That's just a sample of the storied and beautiful automobiles on display in "The Art and Times of the French Coachbuilders" at the Mullin Museaum – there's many more in our terrific photo gallery.

Source: Mullin Automotive Museum

3 comments
Fastship
The veneration of “Statism”, the acceptance of the rules and regulations the state now imposes on what is and is not allowed has snuffed out such human creativity in this area so that such things are indeed, a thing of the past. Welcome to your future.
Nik
A lot of work hours by a lot of craftsmen. ''Never have so many laboured, on so many cars, for so few,'' to paraphrase Churchill!
owlbeyou
What an incredible collection of automotive art and science from France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, all with a French connection. The Mullins venue is most tastefully executed. These remarkable machines and their coachbuilders are liable to overwhelm you if you're a fan of automotive history. Just like the amazing high performance cars of today, these cars were also mainly for the well to do who demanded and could afford nothing but the best. Kudos to the New Atlas team and Loz for putting this together.