Ettore Bugatti, the creator of nearly 7800 cars, strongly believed in building cars that were technically flawless and impeccably sophisticated. This philosophy is reflected in his creation of the Bugatti Royale, also referred to as “The Bugatti Type 41”.
The Bugatti Type 41 (1927) was said to have been born out of a challenge. An English lady once remarked to Ettore that while his cars were excellent for racing, people would still opt for the Rolls-Royce or Daimler when they wanted elegance. Ettore stepped up to this challenge and created the most elegant car he could conceive. The Royale, a car befitting of the kings, was built during the Depression. Unfortunately, because of this and the raging war, even kings were unable to purchase this highly expensive but elegant car. Ettore had initially planned to manufacture 25 cars but only 6 cars were built, out of which only 3 were sold to customers.
Even before Ettore completed the Bugatti Type 41 prototype, the skill and the dexterity involved in the craftsmanship of the partially completed car was difficult to ignore. The majestic car was fitted with a 12.7 liter engine, the longest engine for a car ever manufactured. The car engine was about four and half feet long and three and half feet in height and produced between 275 to 300 hp at 170 rpm’s.
The 6 Bugatti Royales built have all survived the years and are considered as the rarest and the most sought after classic cars. The bodies of the cars were designed by some of the most popular coach builders of that period and hence each car had a different body style:
The Bugatti 41.110, also known as the Coupe Napoleon was built by Ettore Bugatti in 1930. The car was used as his personal car and is now exhibited at the Musee National de l’ Automobile de Mulhouse museum in France.
The Bugatti 41.111 or the Coupe de Ville Binder was designed by the French coach builder, Henri Binder and is considered as one of the most popular Bugattis. Originally made for the King of Romania, the car was never delivered because of the world war. The car is now used as a part of brand promotion by the Volkswagen Group (they now own the Bugatti brand name).
The Bugatti 41.121 or the Cabriolet Weinberger was built by the Munich coach builder, Ludwig Weinberger, for a German doctor, Joseph Fuchs. The car was almost destroyed when the doctor migrated to the US during World War ll. However the car was restored by a GM employee (Charles Chayne) and is now exhibited at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.
The Bugatti 41.131 or the Limousine Park-Ward was designed by the British Coach builder, Park Ward. This car has an English touch to its style and is now exhibited at the Musee National de l'Automobile de Mulhouse Museum in France.
The Bugatti 41.141 or the Royale Coupe por Kellner was designed by the French coach builder Kellner. This car made history in 1987 by selling for $8.7 million at the Christie’s auction – the highest price for a classic car sold in that period.
The Bugatti Type 41.150 or Berline de Voyage was the first Royale to be completed, excluding the prototype. It is now a part of the Blackhawk collection in California.
If you have your eyes on a Royale classic car or already own one, do not forget that this precious possession needs to be protected! Classic Auto Insurance gives you the best collector car insurance quotes. For more information on how we can help you, fill out our FREE quote form today!
About the Author
Drew Yagodnik is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.