Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mullin Automotive Museum review, part 2: the new cars

Part 1 of museum visit here.
Museum souvenir reveal here.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate OLD, beautiful, pre-war cars.  But when it comes down to it, I prefer "classics" from the last 30 years.  That is why these modern Bugattis truly blew me away.  The prototypes are on loan from Bugatti, so get to the Mullin ASAP if you want to see them in the flesh.

Let's start with the first modern Bugatti, the EB110.  Almost all of them come in blue, but this SS version (it's lighter than the regular version) is quite stunning in silver.

I love all the codes on the headlight lens cover:

I'm not a fan of all these vents:

Is this a Subie SVX?

It's incredible that the Veyron is the "least interesting" of the lot.  But here is an interesting perspective.  The engine in the background is a reflection of the actual engine in the foreground.  The silver horseshoe thingy is the center console:

The three prototypes, my favorites, are next:

Bugatti EB 18/3 Chiron.  The front end is the basis for the Veyron.  But the Chiron was introduced in 1999.  The Giugiaro-penned car is named after Louis Chiron, a Bugatti race car driver (rather than Pluto's moon).  It has a W18 engine.  That's 6.3 liters and 72 valves.  To quote Jackie Gleason: Oof.  This car actually runs and has the four wheel drive system from a Lambo Diablo.


Next to the Chiron is the EB218, my personal favorite in the entire museum.  The massive, sheen-less rims remind me of those from the Royale.  It shares the same W18 engine with the other two concepts.

Finally, we've got the EB118 coupe.  Notice the similarities between its rear end and the rear end of the Bentley Continental?

So how does the Mullin stack up against the other museums on the West Coast?  Here are my rankings:
1. (Tied) Blackhawk and Mullin.
2. Canepa.
3. (Tied) National Auto Museum in Reno and the Imperial Palace collection in Vegas.
4. California Auto Museum in Sacramento.
5. Petersen Automotive Museum.

So why is Mullin tied with Blackhawk?  Blackhawk excels because of variety.  You've got old Bugattis as well as a Bentley Blower, an ISO Grifo, a Hongqi limo, and an Aston Martin Zagato.  The Mullin excels in its sheer audacity: a comprehensive and astronomically expensive collection of a tiny genre of cars.  They are both extraordinary and worth making special trips for.

The end.*

*I'll do a separate post about the souvenir I got at the museum.


Alan said...

Original Molsheim-era Bugattis are the most exotic, fascinating and soulful cars ever built.

The EB110 is widely proclaimed by those in the know to be the most underrated supercar of all time, and I absolutely adore it - challenging (if endearing) appearance and all. What I wouldn't give for a tour of the abandoned Campogalliano factory site...

Quite jealous, never seen one in person.

Maxichamp said...

Dude, you've gotta go up to Oxnard. Just make sure you call ahead first. Be sure to grab a beer or two or three at Bahia Restaurant's bar downtown afterwards. !Salud!

Alan said...

I plan on it my friend, believe me! Dropping a new motor in my AW11 then off for a trip up the coast with several car geek stops along the way.

Maxichamp said...

Then don't forget to stop by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine.

Am sick at home right now watching Maury. Apparently, You are NOT the father!

Alan said...

Maxichamp said...

Maury Povich has single handedly set the American civil rights movement back 20 years. Poor Connie Chung.