American websites had suggested that one of the six Bugatti Royale was about to change hands. Confirmation came, for France, from the weekly The life of the car which confirms the transaction. This sale concerns the Bugatti Royale type 41 “travel sedan” (chassis 41 150), exhibited at the Blackhawk museum, in the United States, near San Francisco. This sale was confirmed by Rick Cole, a specialist in vintage cars, who participated in the negotiation.
According to the trade magazine, “the buyer would be a European collector, at a price which, according to a person involved in the sale, is the highest ever paid for a pre-war automobile”. Recall that the record for a pre-war car was $ 22 million for the Duesenberg roadster that belonged to actor Clark Gable. In an article by Alsace of October 25, devoted to the Bugatti Royale saga, we cite a specialized site which imagined that “a Bugatti Royale, like the travel sedan, or the coach Kellner could tear off at least 50 million dollars or euros “.
For the record, this car is the 6e Bugatti Royale produced in the world. Unsold, it was kept by the Bugatti family. To prevent it from being requisitioned by the Nazis during World War II, the car was hidden at the castle of Ermenonville. It is a horse-drawn saloon, bodied in 1929 by Bugatti on a design by Ettore Bugatti, often inspired by his passion for horses.
Return to Europe
The history of the car is crystal clear since, according to the Wikipedia site, “the car was sold in 1950 by Ebe Bugatti [fille d’Ettore] to the American Briggs Cunningham in exchange for $ 3,000 and several General Electric refrigerators ”. At the time, the brand was in decline and this type of prestigious car no longer interested many people. “Cunnigham resells the car for $ 41,150 at the Harrah Collection. In 1986, the car was sold at auction again and was acquired by Jerry J. Moore for $ 6.5 million. He keeps it for a year, then sells it to Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, for $ 8.1 million. “
Redeemed, it is then exhibited at the Blackhawk Automobile Museum, California, which she has just left. More than seventy years after leaving Europe, this incredible Bugatti born in Molsheim is therefore returning to the Old Continent. As a reminder, let us recall that the Cité de l’Automobile, in Mulhouse, owns two of the six Bugatti Royale created by Ettore between 1920 and 1930.