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1929 Bugatti Type 41 Royale Coupé Napoleon
Why am I an Automotive Masterpiece?
L. Limited edition cars
no. 7 manufactured, no. 6 remaining
The Type 41 Royale was Ettore Bugatti's most luxurious and extreme car. It was designed for heads of state and massive chauffeur-driven bodies. Thus, it was the largest Bugatti both in length and engine displacement.
Ettore Bugatti planned to build twenty-five of these cars, sell them to royalty and to be the most luxurious and expensive car ever made. But even European royalty was not buying such things during the Great Depression, and Bugatti was able to sell only three of the six made.
Ironically none of the Royale's owners were royals and to this date none of the six Type 41s has ever been owned by a royal.
All six production Royales still exist (the prototype was destroyed in an accident in 1931), and each has a different body, some having been rebodied several times.
All Royales were individually bodied. The radiator cap was a posed elephant, a sculpture by Ettore's brother Rembrandt Bugatti.
This car, the “Coupé Napoleon” was Ettore Bugatti’s personal car. It was owned by the Bugatti family until it was bought by Fritz Schlumpf.
The body was designed by Jean Bugatti, son of Ettore, when he was only 20. The harmonious overall design, with its clear lines and curves, somehow seems to mask the unusually large size of the car.
It was built on the first definitive “Royale” chassis, with the same numbering (41100) as the 1927 prototype that was destroyed in an accident.
For Ettore Bugatti, the Royale was to be the pinnacle, a world-beater in terms of power, quality and reputation.