Nestled in the seaside city of Oxnard, California, a short stroll from the Pacific Coast Highway, the Mullin Automotive Museum is home to a treasure trove of Bugattis and Delahayes. Given the current restrictions in the state of California, though, the Mullin Automotive Museum is closed until further notice. That, however, is not an excuse for you to miss out on a visual tour of one of the finest French car collections in the world.
Among the exhibitions at the Mullin museum are The Art of Bugatti, Lady of the Lake, and L’epoque des Carrossiers: The Art and Times of the French Coachbuilders, that last of which showcases more than 30 cars from the era of coachbuilding. We imagine walking the streets of Paris during the Jazz Age heading to our favorite jazz club and coming upon the true definition of rolling art in its native environment, witnessing a Voisin Type C27 Roadster, Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet, or Bugatti Type 57SC in the prime of French coachbuilding; it must have been a grand time to be alive.
But since you can’t go in person, we’ve brought this immaculate collection to the comfort of your home or office. Below, we have compiled a selection of our favorite cars, but don’t forget to click into the massive photo gallery for endless scrolling. Enjoy!
Table of Contents
1934 Voisin Type C27 Aerosport Coupe
Designed by Gabriel Voisin with the help of architect André “Noël-Noël” Telmont, this 1934 Voisin Type C27 Aerosport Coupe vanished sometime after the mid-1950s. The second of just two examples produced, this Type C27 Aerosport Coupe belonged to Telmont for more than a decade; Telmont sold the car after World War II. Believed to have been sold to a scrap dealer at some point during its disappearance, the Voisin Type C27 Aerosport resurfaced masked in another body. Voisin expert Philipp Moch discovered the C27 and had it reconstructed using three period photographs of the car’s original appearance.
1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic
Regarded as the most beautiful and desired body of the Type 57s, the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic came equipped with a supercharged V-8 making 210 horsepower. One of three produced, the chassis no. 57374 Bugatti Type 57SC was first owned by Lord Victor Rothschild, who drove it around London as a college student and later blew the engine. By 1945, the car made it to American shores, where it was the subject of a complete restoration, and where it has remained ever since. In 2003, the no. 57374 Type 57SC Atlantic won best-of-show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS “Goutte d’Eau”
Winner of countless awards, including best-of-show at the 2015 Goodwood Cartier Style et Luxe Concours, the Talbot-Lago T150-C SS is a coachwork masterpiece by French coachbuilder Figoni et Falaschi. Widely known as the “Teardrop” Talbot-Lago, it entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1938, managing a respectable third-place finish. Playboy and race car driver Freddy McEvoy is said to have driven this Talbot-Lago from Paris to Cannes (a distance of 565 miles) in less than 10 hours, winning a $10,000 bet. This car was also once owned by Bentley Boy and chairman of Bentley Motors, Woolf Barnato. Peter Mullin acquired the car in 1985.
1938 Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza H6B “Xenia”
After serving in the Stork squadron during World War I and earning five aerial victories, Andre Dubonnet worked on an independent suspension system with engineer Antoine-Marie Chedru, which he patented in 1927. Dubonnet attended the 1932 Paris Salon, where he purchased a Hispano-Suiza chassis that had received extensive modifications. With design work by avant-garde car designer Jean Andreau and the coachwork of Jacques Saoutchik, the 1938 Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza H6B “Xenia” was born. Named after Dubonnet’s ex-wife, Xenia remained hidden during the war before re-emerging on June 9, 1946. The car was purchased by Peter Mullin in 2003 and is now owned by the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation.
1939 Delahaye Type 165 Cabriolet
One of two produced, and a 1992 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance first-in-class winner, the 1939 Delahaye Type 165 Cabriolet on display at the Mullin museum once represented France at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. A work of art by coachbuilder Figoni et Falaschi, this Delahaye Type 165 Cabriolet exchanged numerous hands after being impounded by U.S. Customs in 1940. Modified with a powerful Cadillac engine, left abandoned by a widow, and then sold for $1,200 in the 1970s, the car finally received a proper restoration in 1985, including sourcing an original engine from Count Hubertus von Doenhoff.