Jacob's Bugatti Pages


Chassis number 41 111

1932, Roadster for Esders, by Jean Bugatti:

Jean Bugatti standing by the fabulous car with body of his design.
Photo: Unknown

This is the first Royale sold.
Armand Esders, clothing manufacturer, ordered a Royale Roadster in 1932. He specified that he wanted a flexible car, meaning no-shift driving, that he never drove at night (so on lights were mounted), and that he never exceeded 90 km/h - which I expect was a lot in 1932.
Jean Bugatti designed this body in a marvelous way, giving grace and lightness to the immence car.

A copy of this car has been built for the Schlumpf collection.

1935 or 1939, Coupé de Ville, by Binder:

The Coupé de Ville by Binder, second body on #41 111.
Photo: David Sisson, Reference

The 41 111 chassis was later rebodied with a Coupé de Ville by Henri Binder of Paris.
The story tells that King Carol II of Romania commisioned Binder to build this new body, but that the war prevented his taking delivery. Another source says that the French goverment aquired the car in 1935 or 39 and commissioned the body change.
The rear compartment is armoured and has bulletproof glass.
The body was in many ways similar to the Royale "Coupé Napoleon" some years ealier, but lacks the grace of Jean Bugatti's design.

This car was in Paris at the outbreak of the war and was lowered into the Paris sewers and jacked up to avoid capture by the Germans.

In 1949 it was in England, owned by Frederick Henry, later by Mills Lane, Atlanta, USA, who in 1964 sold it to Harrah's Collection.
It is since 1986 owned by General William Lyon, Orange County, California. He tried to sell it at the 1996 Barrett-Jackson auction. Highest bid was US$11 million. At a US$15 million reserve, it didn't sell.

In 1999, the new owner of the Bugatti brand, Volkswagen, bought the car for a reported price of 8 million Deutsch Mark, equivalent to approximately US$4 million. Now, there's a bargain!
During the same year, they also bought themself a second Royale, 41 141.

The accuracy of the above information is not guaranteed. However, the information is compiled with the sincerest intentions of accuracy. Corrections, comments and additions are gladly received!
This is copyrighted material! You may NOT use the text without expressed permission from the author. Photographs are copyright of the respective photographer and used with permission.

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Editor: Jacob Munkhammar.     Design: MUNKHAMMAR.     Page updated: 23/2-00.