Second Chassis 41 111
Esders Roadster, built for Parisian clothing manufacturer Armand Esders.
Not fitted with headlamps.
This is the first Royale sold. The clothing manufacturer Armand Esders ordered a Royale Roadster in 1932. He specified no lamps as he never drove at night. Jean Bugatti designed this beautiful body, giving grace and lightness to a huge car. A copy of this car has been built for the Schlumpf collection. The above photograph shows Jean Bugatti standing by the car with the body of his design.
Binder Coupe de Ville
41 111 chassis was later re-bodied with a coupe de Ville by Henri Binder of Paris . It is thought that King Carol II of Romania commissioned Binder to build this new body, but the war prevented his taking delivery. It is also possible that the French Government aquired the car in 1935 or 39 and commissioned the body change. The rear compartment is armoured and has bullet proof glass. The body was in many ways similar to the Royale “Coupe Napoleon” some years earlier, but lacks the beauty of Jean Bugatti’s design.
This car was in Paris at the outbreak of the war and was lowered into the Paris sewers to avoid capture by the Germans.
In 1949 it was in England , owned by Frederick Henry, later by Mills Lane of Atlanta , USA who in 1964 sold it to the Harrah’s collection. In 1986 it was owned by William Lyon of Orange County , California . He tried to sell it at the 1996 Barrett-Jackson auction. The highest bid was US$11 million, but with a US$15 million reserve it didn’t sell.
In 1999, however, Ferdinad Pietch of Volkswagen the new owner of the Bugatti brand, bought the car for a reported price of 8 million Deutsch Mark, equivalent to approximately US$4 million.