Car 5

1932 Coupe by Kellner

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 & 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 various proposals. The one chosen for execution and for presentation at London ‘s Olympia Show late that year was a two door saloon or sedan.

Bearing a price tag of £6,500 41141 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. The showpiece remained in the Bugatti family, weathering World War II by being shunted from one shelter to another. It is one of the two Royals obtained from Ettore’s daughter L’Ebei by Briggs Cunningham and was one of the crowning pieces of his collection. Maintained in perfect operating condition, it was exercised regularly, often with museum guests as passengers. It was later bought from Cunninghams for £5,500,000 in 1987, it hass since 1990 been owned by Meitec Corporation, an engineering company in Japan , who according to sources bought it for £10 million. It is now owned by the Volkswagen group, owners of the Bugatti marque.

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