Bugatti Royale Coupe Napoleon

Bugatti Royale "Coupe Napoleon" by Ettore Bugatti

Bugatti Royale - ornament

Hood ornament of the Bugatti Royale, a silver elephant

Bugatti Royale Coupe Napoleon

Bugatti Royale "Coupe Napoleon" by Ettore Bugatti

Bugatti Royale Esders

Bugatti Royale "Esders" by Jean Bugatti

Bugatti Royale Binder

Bugatti Royale "Coupe de Ville" by Binder

Bugatti Royale Cabrio Weinberger

Bugatti Royale cabrio by Weinberger

Bugatti Royale Limousine by Park Ward

Bugatti Royale Limousine by Park Ward

Bugatti Royale Coupe by Kellner

Bugatti Royale Coupe by Kellner

Bugatti Royale Berline de Voyage

Bugatti Royale "Berline de Voyage" by Ettore Bugatti

BUGATTI ROYALE – monument to the automobile

by G. Fernández - focus on the rolling Art with this retrospective about one of the greatest cars ever made, the Bugatti Royale

When the words “Art” and “Classic Car” appear in a same sentence, it’s almost sure that “Bugatti” will be mentioned soon. Since its beginnings at the dawn of the twentieth century until World War II, Bugatti represented the height of industrial design, creating models as the immortal Type 57 SC, which even today is considered one of the most beautiful automobiles - if not the most beautiful- ever created. But no model is as fascinating as the supreme Type 41, widely known as the "Royale", the car of the Kings, conceived as the ultimate expression of the car in a two-pronged approach: mechanic, with its massive 12.7 L engine producing 300 hp at only 1700 rpm; and artistic, with its body being designed by some of the most famous coachbuilders of the era.

Six examples of this rolling monument have survived, in addition to a seventh car rebuilt from an original chassis

Bugatti Royale Coupe Napoleon by Ettore Bugatti (1930)

Chasis 41.100 – Built from the chassis of the original prototype (now destroyed), the Coupe Napoleon designed by Ettore Bugatti opened the way for subsequent Royales-especially to the Coupe by Binder- with its spectacular body. The car is now exhibited at the el Musee National de l'Automobile in Mulhouse, France, along with other two Royales.

Bugatti Royale Roadster “Esders” by Jean Bugatti (1931)

Chassis 41.111 – Regarded as one of the best designs by the prodigious Jean Bugatti, this model was the first Royale to be finished with a roadster body. Nevertheless, the looks of this Royale are less fascinating than the coupes ones. This roadster was destroyed and rebuilt from the original chassis, so it’s not considered as one of the six “original” Royales. Despite this, this car is one of the stars of the Musee National de l'Automobile in Mulhouse, France

Bugatti Royale Coupe de Ville by Binder (1931)

Chassis 41.111 – Arguably the most famous of all Royales, this coupe designed by French coachbuilder Henri Binder was conceptually similar to the “Napoleon” designed by Ettore Bugatti (chassis 41.100) but its body was more and harmonious and attractive. This model, the star of a past edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d’elegance, is now at the collection of the Volkswagen group, who acquired the car in 1999 for an undisclosed sum, rumored to be higher than $15 million, a very hefty sum considering the fact that that price was the minimum asking price at the 1996 Barrett-Jackson auction, where the car was unsold

Bugatti Royale Cabrio by Ludwig Weinberger (1933)

Chassis 41.121 – One of the most attractive of all Royales was this beautiful cabriolet “dressed” by the Munich coachbuilder Ludwig Weinberger. Originally painted in black and yellow –one of Bugatti’s favorites combinations of colors- the car was sold to the German doctor Joseph Fuchs, who was forced to migrate to New York before the World War II. The car was almost destroyed, but Charles Chayne, a future General Motors employee, acquired the car for a ridiculously low price and restored it, adding some changes as the new blank painting still conserved today. The car is currently exhibited at the Henry Ford Museum

Bugatti Royale Limousine by Park Ward (1933)

Chassis 41.131 – Used to design the bodies of the top models by Rolls Royce and Bentley, British coachbuilder Park Ward put a British touch in this serious and massive Royale, far different from the sport spirit of the previous coupes, even more with the presence –unique among all Royales- of a spare wheel on both sides of the car. Today this Royale is exhibited at the Musee National de l'Automobile in Mulhouse, France, the birthplace of all Royales

Bugatti Royale Coupe por Kellner (1931)

Chassis 41.141 – Arguably the most elegant of all Royales, this beautiful coupe built by French coachbuilder Kellner was the model chosen by Ettore Buggati to represent the Royales at the 1932 Olympia Show. In addition, this coupe was sold for $8.7 million in 1987, then the highest price ever paid for an automobile

Bugatti Royale Berline de Voyage by Ettore Bugatti (1930)

Chassis 41.150 – Designed by Ettore Bugatti, the looks of this berline are strangely traditional, which is understandable because this car, despite the number of its chassis, was the first Royale ever completed, not counting the lost prototype. This automobile belonged to the Harrah collection for many years, and is now part of the private collection of a Korean businessman.

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