Chassis number 41 141
1932, Coupé, by Kellner
Inspite of the start of the following article the latest dating (Kestler 1993) of this Royale is 1932. The body was ordered in 1931, but delivered and displayed in 1932. (It might have been finished in '31, though.)
Type 41 "Royale" Coupé by Kellner, at the six Royales
gathering at Pebble Beach in 1985.
Photo © David Sisson (ref.)
Griffith Borgeson writes in Automobile Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 4, 4th Quarter, 1986:
"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."
It was later bought from Cunninghams for 5,500,000 pounds in 1987, and it is since 1990 owned by Meitec Corporation, a engineering outsourcing
company, in Japan - who, according to sources, bought it for 10,000,000 pounds, or US$15 million.
Contrary to rumours, Volkswagen (who bought 41 111) was never in contact with Meitec about buying 41 141.
41 141 in its new home at the Meitec Corporation in Japan.
Photo © Courtesy of Meitec Corporation (ref.)
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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