The Bugatti Type 41, better known as the Royale, was a large luxury car with a 4.3 m wheelbase and 6.4 m overall length. It weighed approximately 3175 kg and was fitted with a 12.7 L straight-8 engine.
The Type 41, 'La Royale', was a grand project, only to be sold to persons with royal blood. The number of Royales build has been a disputed matter. Number from 6 to 8 have been suggested. Looking at all the production and restoration of the Royales, it looks like there are 6 chassis produced, wearing 11 bodies. Of these, 6 or 7 are in existence - one of them is a rebuild. The first chassis may in reality have been 2 different chassis, though, making a total of 7 produced.
Ettore Bugatti planned to build 25 of these cars, and sell them to royalty. But even royalty was not buying such things during the Great Depression, and Bugatti was able to sell only 3 of the 6 or 7 chassis built from 1926 to 1933. None to a royal.
Originally owned by the Bugatti family, this Type 41 Royale (#41141) with Kellner Coupe bodywork was the fifth example built. This car was on display at the 1932 Olympia Show. After the second world war it was one of two Bugattis bought by Briggs Cunningham. It was retained by the family until 1987 when the car was offered at a Christie's auction. It sold for $8.7 million. It was a smart investment as three years later it sold for almost twice as much to the Meitec Corporation in Japan, where it resided in their modern building basement before being offered for sale for £10million by Bonhams & Brooks by private treaty in 2001. Ownership is presently unknown, but it has been shown in recent years by Swiss broker Lukas Huni.
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