Bugatti Royale

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Bugatti Royale

1932 - 1939
Inline-8, sohc, 3v/cyl.
12,763 cc
260 bhp
3 spd. man
Top Speed:
199 km/h (est.)
Number Built:
5 star
Jean Bugatti with the Royale
Bugatti Royale
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 5


The Bugatti type 41 Royale 'Roadster' was designed and styled in 1932 by Jean Bugatti, the very promising son of the great Ettore.

Tragically, Jean Bugatti (pictured left) was killed in 1939 in a car accident while testing one of the factory cars around Molsheim.

By 1932 Bugatti were already famous for making the best sports cars in the world, however the Royale has become one of the most memorable sports-luxury cars in history!

The name Royale was given to help the car appeal to the rich and famous, and amoung the few that could afford to buy the car was King Alphonso XIII of Spain.

Unquestionably the "Granddest" car ever made - weighing in excess of 3 tons and powered by a 13-litre straight-8 engine which derived from an aeroplane (the engine being so strong that it was later converted for train use).

Excluding the prototype, only 5 Royales were made between 1926 and 32. One of which broke the world record by changing hands at US$9.8 million in 1987, which was only eclipsed by Ferrari 250GTO later.

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Lost Marques: Bugatti
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You have an Italian flag beside the country of origin, but Bugattis were a French product, and despite the names, the Bugatti family saw itself as French. Because the Type 41 cars were re-bodied as they circulated among their wealthy owners, the photo archive leads people to believe (incorrectly) that there were more than a half dozen of these cars. A brief trip around the internet shows that the Royales were and are often sold and re-sold. Between Harrah's collection and the Briggs Cunningham Museum, and thanks to the U.S. Navy, I got to see three of them in 1969. The photo on this site shows better than most how large these cars are. The proportions are so nice that they don't look trucklike despite their size.
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