Above is the cover of a 1956 Trend Books, Inc. paperback publication. Trend Books was part of R.E. Petersen's growing automobile-interest empire that began with Hot Rod magazine and added Motor Trend magazine a few years later, hence the word "Trend." The writer, Robert J. Gottlieb, was a Los Angeles area attorney who had a popular monthly column in Motor Trend devoted to "classic" cars as defined by the Classic Car Club of America in those days (definitions have evolved since then).
I strongly suspect that the car featured on the cover, a Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, was unknown to most American car fans under age 30 or 35 in 1956. It must have been a revelation (though the same photo, cropped and in smudgy black and white, was buried near the end of a 1953 paperback from Petersen: "Classic Cars and Antiques"). More background on Atlantics, including an explanation for all those visible rivets and details of the three surviving cars, can be found here.
I have viewed both surviving 57SC cars ("C" designated the supercharged version). One was at Pebble Beach where Ralph Lauren displayed his car. Ralph stood near it dressed in a natty dark blue blazer. A few years later I saw Ralph at Pebble helping his crew push his Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 to a different location. Ralph is a real car mensch.
The car on the cover pictured above, now meticulously restored, will be on view until 13 January 2018 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles along with a host of other Bugattis (details here).
The extremely rare and extremely valuable 1936 Atlantic is owned by Peter Mullin and others in the form of an organization named Atlantic LLC. It normally resides in the Mullin Automotive Museum (its web page dealing with the Atlantic is here).
As for the Atlantic's design, I cannot call it beautiful. Instead, I find it astonishing ... in a highly positive sense. Other descriptive words I can easily apply to it are exciting, dramatic, and fascinating.
Below are photos I took of it at the Petersen museum earlier this year.