All apologies to this black shoe car and its maker but it really is a bit unpleasant. And that’s not an insult. It is a fair description of this car – the Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic – and anyone who calls it that wouldn’t be lying.
From the front, it looks like a funny shoe. And from the back, it looks like some old computer mouse.
And yet in 2010, this model sold for an eye-watering price of $40 million!
Why? The price is not due so much to the value of the car or its parts. This car is a 1930s Bugatti and there are only two of it in the world.
It is a souvenir; a reminder of what man was beginning to build before Europe descended into the Second World War. It is a piece of history, a work of art on four tyres.
This one belongs to Ralph Lauren, the American fashion designer behind the Polo brand.
The other one is parked at the Mullin Automotive Museum in California. Even that one is not owned by the museum. It is on loan from the real owner who bought it in 2010 after the car had made a long journey through many owners.
You may agree that this Bugatti is not on point with its looks. But apart from having an outrageous price, it seems to have an air of exclusive exquisiteness to it. In 2013, Ralph Lauren came tops with his car both by jury decision and by public referendum at a competition for classic cars known as the Concorso d’ Eleganza Villa d’ Este (Competition of Elegance of Villa d’ Este).
We’re scratching our heads a bit since there were other very nice old cars at the competition. Maybe it takes seeing the real thing to appreciate its beauty and its $40 million value.