Heinrich Bauer BAU1990TZ 1932 Bugatti Royale (Coupe de Ville Binder) Esders Roadster - Green (1:18 Scale)
"One thing is certain: There is great development ahead for the automobile."
- The American Magazine, Things I've Been Thinking About by Henry Ford, February 1936
The Bugatti Type 41, better known as the Royale, is one of the most extreme luxury cars ever built. It was enormous, with a 4.3 m (169.3 in) wheelbase and 6.4 m (21 ft) overall length. It weighed approximately 3175 kg (7000 lb) and used a massive 12.7 L (12763 cc/778 in) straight-8.
Its cast "Roue Royale" wheels measured 610 mm (24 inches) in diameter. 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.
The engine (apx. 4.5 ft (1.4 m) long x 3.5 ft (1.1 m) high), is one of the largest automobile engines ever made, producing 205 to 223 kW (275 to 300 hp). Its cylinders, bored to 125 by 130 mm (5.1 in), each displaced more than the entire engine of the contemporary Type 40 touring car. It had 3 valves per cylinder driven by a single overhead camshaft. Nine bearings were specified for reliability, but only a single custom carburetor was needed. A derivation of the Royale engine was used in railcars.
The Royale was launched just as the world economy began to sour. Just six were built between 1929 and 1933, with just three sold to external customers. The first (chassis number 41111) to French clothing manufacturer Armand Esders in 1932.
The second (ch no.41121), also in 1932 to German obstetrician Josef Fuchs. It was built to exacting standards and above its radiator grill cap perched a replica of a Rembrandt Bugatti elephant sculpture. This Royale incorporates one of Jean Bugatti's most fantastic designs. Armand Esders brought it to the US. The car surfaced in a New York junkyard in 1943, was bought and restored by a General Motors executive, who eventually gave it to the Ford Museum. The third (ch no.41131) to Englishman Cuthbert Foster, in 1933.
The remaining three were kept inside the company, including one which became the personal car of Ettore Bugatti for the remainder of his days. The unused engines were pressed into service in locomotives on the French national railways, turning the episode from an economic failure into a success for Ettore Bugatti.
Length: 14 inches
Width: 4 inches
Release Date: December 2010
Historical Account: "All Dressed Up and No Place to Go" - The first Royale customer was clothing manufacturer Armand Esders. He had Bugatti fit a two-door roadster coachwork, penned by Jean Bugatti. Considering the size of the chassis, the 2+2 body was surprisingly elegant. No lights were fitted as Esders never drove at night. This Royale came closest to becoming royal property as reputedly the King of Romania had the car rebodied by Henri Binder with a coupe de ville style bodywork. The design was very similar to the Coupe Napoleon body on Ettore's own Royale. Due to the outbreak of the War, the King never took delivery of the car. It survived the second world war, hidden in the sewers of Paris. When peace returned it was sold to England and eventually ended up in the Harrah collection in the United States.
In 1986, the Binder bodied Royale was bought by Californian collector General William Lyon. He offered the car during the 1996 Barrett-Jackson, where he refused an offer of $11 million; the reserve was set at $15 million. The new owner of the Bugatti brand, Volkswagen, bought the car in 1999 for a reputed $20 million in 1999. There were no sewers around to keep the car from the Germans this time. Using the many spares available, the Schlumpf Collection has built an exact replica of the Esders Roadster. It is on display at the Musee National de l'Automobile in Mulhouse, France, along with two of the six original cars. The Binder Coupe de Ville is shown above at the 2007 Goodwood Festival of Speed where the Royale's eightieth anniversary was celebrated.