Royale


Chris
01-23-2001, 07:41 AM
If you don't know about this car, I pity you. They made only 7 of them in the 30's, and the chassis alone cost 29 grand. The most recent one that the price was disclosed was for 6 million pounds (15 million Amwerican, accounting for inflation), that was in 91. They were huge (bigger in every dimension than a ford Excursion), had a 12.5 litre straight eight, oh man, simply bitchin. THey are one of the only 2 types of cars built regardless of price (the other i9s the McLAren F1). I want one, so somepone, please, post some interesting info!!!

igor@af
01-23-2001, 03:06 PM
Welcome to Af, Chris!
here's some info I found:
http://www.motionalmemories.com/a_Bugatti_Binder_Royale.jpg
"1931 was the vintage year for Royales, along with being the year in which the Wall Street crash of 1929 began to have its most profound effect on the economies of Europe. Encouraged by the Esders and Fuchs sales, Ettore prepared to penetrate the royalty-sensitive British market. To do so, he commissioned one of Paris' most distinguished coachbuilders, Kellner, to design and build for this chassis a gran tourisme which would be the last word in serene good taste. Kellner, richly experienced in working with many of the finest chassis of the day, from Hispano-Suiza to Duesenberg J, submitted variuous proposals. The one chosen for execution and for presentation at London's Olympia Show late that year was what the French call a coach and we a two-door sedan.
"Bearing a price tag of 6,500 pounds - $32,500 of the time - 41 141 was by far the most expensive car on display at the show. It was praised for its exquisite proportions and nobility of line, but no sales took place, there or thereafter. This showpiece remained in the Bugatti family, as they say, and weathered World War II being shunted from one shelter to another. It is one of the two Royales obtained from L'Ebe Bugatti by Briggs Cunningham and is one of the crowning pieces of that great enthusiast's collection, one of the top few in the world. Maintained in perfect operating condition, it is exercised regularly, often with museum guests as passengers.
"The Royale mascot, of course, is a standing elephant, a creation of Ettore's younger brother, Rembrandt, unquestionably one of the great animal sculptors of all time. Laura Cunningham, Briggs' Wife, is justly proud of having spotted a classified ad in the Los Angeles Times which read, "Animal statue signed REMBRANDT Bugatti". Convincing the vendor that it had nothing to do with Rembrandt van Rijn, as he had hoped, she brought home a hefty playmate for the mascot of the family Royale."
http://www.multimania.com/autoweb/Bug/Esders.jpg


A pretty impressive car, and only 7 in the whole world! WOW

JD@af
01-23-2001, 07:20 PM
Yeah I remember reading about this in the New York Times a while back. A straight eight! Too bad these haven't caught on with automobile manufacturers. You could shrink one down in dimensions, make it somewhere in the vicinity of 3 to 4 liters, and what a bitchen powerplant for a car it would be.

Anyway, yeah, this is one kick-ass automobile of old. And truly, they don't make them like they used to.

Hudson
08-03-2001, 08:45 AM
The Type 41 "Royale" was produced in very small numbers, but its engine was produced in slightly greater amounts. The straight-eight produced 300hp (in 1929) and they made about 30 of these engines. When production of the Type 41 ended in the mid-1930s (yes, seven years to build six cars), the remaining engines went to the French government to power trains!

All six cars were photographed together once, and the pictures appear in an issue of Automobile Quarterly from 10 years ago (or so).

The Type 41 is an amazing car and quite impressive to view in person.

Chris
08-03-2001, 09:45 AM
A French museum created a replica (of the one igor posted in colour) and they found one of the train engines, and used it.


Now I cant remember if it was a 12.5-7 or 14.5-7 litre engine, I've seen and heard both.

vectorclub
11-03-2001, 09:40 PM
There are not 7 Royales built by Ettore.The 7th was something people put together many years later from parts they found and body they created. Bugatti experts and many automotive historians do not except any Royale after Ettore died as being genuine. To make things more complex a couple of knock offs have been made.

You will find the Royale history has a few Royales changing bodies. One chassis was destoryed by Ettore in a solo car wreck. They claim he fell asleep at the wheel, others say he was drunk.

Chassis #41150 has leather treated to look like Elephant skin to match the mascot on the hood. It is for sale if anyone wants it. It has been on Display at the Blackhawk Auto Museum in Danville, Califonria for the last five years.

Chris
11-04-2001, 10:07 AM
I've heard that they switch bodies. I also heard that some of the original bodies were stored by the Bugatti family, but I dont know whats happened to them since.
Chassis 41121 I think has had a body change, in the 30's I believe. After WWII, the block or head cracked, and it was sent to a junkyard!!! A GM exec rescued it, put on chrome wheels and buick carb's, I dont know if its been restored to original condition or what has happened to that particular car. I think the history of all Royales is amazing, and am looking for a book on them.

vectorclub
11-04-2001, 10:33 AM
http://www.autotrend.com/bugatti.html

Autotrend has the Bugatti Royale poster (for $50 each) that features history on each car along the bottom. The picture was taken when the 6 Royales were united for the first time in history at Pebble Beach in 1985. I am trying to remember the titles, but there are a few books on Bugatti that include a section on Royales. I seem to remember reading someone did a book only on Royales many years ago. Beverly Rae Kimes has a new "Cars of the Classic Era" style book out. Odds are they cover the Royales.

http://www.autotrend.com/pic/9085.jpg

Chris
11-04-2001, 10:43 AM
I may have to get that poster. I may search for a Royale book sometime next weekend, if you could remember the names, it would help:) Thanks for the info, though.

Hudson
11-05-2001, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by Chris
Now I cant remember if it was a 12.5-7 or 14.5-7 litre engine, I've seen and heard both.

The original Royale (crashed by Ettore himself) was a large engine...somewhere near your 15L figure. The "production" Royales had 12.7L (I believe that's the number) engines.

vectorclub
11-06-2001, 10:07 AM
Blackhawk Auto Museum lists the Royale they have (41150 I think) as having a 778 cubic inch motor. Anyone who has seen a Royale from the side knows it has a long hood. That is not just for show, that inline engine fills that space.

Chris
11-06-2001, 10:59 AM
I've seen (on TV) a Royale engine running. It was soooo smooth and quiet. It is really long, too, no wonder they work good for trains.

Also, it had a manual tranny (a 3-speed, I think)

vectorclub
11-06-2001, 11:35 AM
Royale are very quiet when they a running right. When #41111 drove past me at Pebble Beach you could hardly hear the engine. It was as quiet as any Rolls Royce. I still would not want a Royale (other to get it and sell it) becasue the engine is pain to service.

Chris
11-06-2001, 02:13 PM
I guess it could be hard to service, it really is quite advanced. 3 valves per cylinder and a SOHC, but still, its huge!! The smallest tool you would use is a 10 pound sledge!

vectorclub
11-06-2001, 02:57 PM
It is not advance as you would think. The Royales still used old cable braking systems and the engine was just big. Multi Valve heads was used by many companies in the 1930s. When you get the AQs you will see the Royale was of an image car then demonstartion of technology. Bugatti did some wonderful things, but the legend is inflated, just like most legends. I think Bugatti was the manufacture to have a whore house to service clients while their cars where seriviced. At least that is part of the legend.

Blown 472 Caddy
01-30-2002, 01:08 AM
Chassis 41121; the white car in the poster, is in the Henry Ford Museum. It was originally owned by a Dr. Josef Fuchs of Munich, Germany. Just before Hitler came to power in 1933, Dr. Fuchs moved to Switzerland. From there he moved to Shanghai, China. When things got hairy in Shanghai, he moved to New York. In the winter of '37/'38, the block was damaged when the coolant froze. Unable to find someone to repair the damage, he offered it for sale at US $350 and found no takers (!!!!!!!). Charles Chayne bought the car and made some changes, among them the white paint job. He later donated the car to the Henry Ford Museum.

Originally, the car was black with yellow trim and a beige top.

The Royale Coupe Napoleon; first car on the right in the poster, is in a museum in Germany at the Sinsheim Auto+Technik Mueum (as of early 2000, anyway)

Anyone know the location of the other Royales?

IMHO, it's a real shame this board doesn't get more traffic.

vectorclub
01-31-2002, 12:39 AM
Japan has 1 Royale, France has 2 Royales, Germany has 1, and America has 2. The other American car sits at the Blackhawk Auto Museum in Danville, CA. That is the yellow and black one. It is for sale from what I have heard. It has been at Blackahwk for nearly 10 years.

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