When the Bugatti Type 57 Compétition Coupé Aerolithe was first unveiled, it shocked viewers with its sleekly styled shape. The sensuous body of the Aerolithe (French for “meteor”) was fabricated in Elektron magnesium alloy, a material that was very difficult to weld. The rivets along its spine and front fenders were structurally necessary, and added a visually striking design feature. Its low-slung body and teardrop-shaped fenders made the car appear to be moving at great speeds.
Like many concept cars, the original Aerolithe no longer exists. However, it was faithfully re-created in magnesium using a genuine Bugatti chassis, historic photographs, known specifications, factory records, and an oil painting by a Bugatti designer.