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Thread: 1931 Bugatti Type 41 (Royales)

  1. #1
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    1931 Bugatti Type 41 (Royales)

    Greetings!

    My name is David, and I am wondering if you can help me with something. Many years ago, I worked for Harrah's Automobile Collection in Reno/Sparks Nevada. My dad had started with Mr. Harrah and I followed later. I am now writing a book on my experiences with the Collection and wonder if anyone can provide me with some information. At Harrah's, we had on display two fully restored 1931 Bugatti Type 41 (Royale). Any information would be very much appreciated as to these cars. I have attached thumbnails for both automobiles. I believe the dark blue/gray '31 is at some kind of static display, but whereabouts are unknown. The yellow/black '31 I believe has changed ownership with private collectors. Both of these cars would have been part of the dismantelment of Harrah's Automobile Collection in the 80's. Recent photos would be great along with information.

    Thanks ahead,
    Dave O.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave o View Post
    Greetings!

    My name is David, and I am wondering if you can help me with something. Many years ago, I worked for Harrah's Automobile Collection in Reno/Sparks Nevada. My dad had started with Mr. Harrah and I followed later. I am now writing a book on my experiences with the Collection and wonder if anyone can provide me with some information. At Harrah's, we had on display two fully restored 1931 Bugatti Type 41 (Royale). Any information would be very much appreciated as to these cars. I have attached thumbnails for both automobiles. I believe the dark blue/gray '31 is at some kind of static display, but whereabouts are unknown. The yellow/black '31 I believe has changed ownership with private collectors. Both of these cars would have been part of the dismantelment of Harrah's Automobile Collection in the 80's. Recent photos would be great along with information.

    Thanks ahead,
    Dave O.
    Welcome, for a beginning, try here

    Bugatti Type 41 Royale Binder Coupe de Ville - Ultimatecarpage.com - Images, Specifications and Information
    "I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting, but it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously." Douglas Adams

  3. #3
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    The first car is the s/n 41111 Binder Coupe de Ville. It's the first sold Royale, built for French clothing manufacturer Armand Esders in 1932. Originally it was fitted with a roadster body (so-called Esders Roadster) penned by Jean Bugatti. A copy of this car can be seen in the Musee National de l'Automobile.
    The body was changed in late thirties to an armoured coupe de ville built by Bilder. It is generally assumed that the Romanian king Carol II commissioned the new body but the war outbreak prevented him from taking delivery of the new car. 41111 was stored in Paris sewers during the war years and subsequently sold to an Englishman named Frederick Henry in 1949. Its next owner, Mills Lane of Atlanta, sold the car to the Harrah's collection in 1964. In 1986 it was bought by Orange County collector William Lyon, who later tried to sell the car at 1996 Barrett-Jackson, but the highest bid of $11M didn't meet the $15M reserve. In 1999 VW bought the car, the price estimates varying from 4 up to 20 million dollars.

    The second car is s/n 41150. Despite sporting the highest s/n it was actually the first chassis fitted with a body (apart from the 41100 prototype). It was most probably built in 1929. The body is Double Berline de Voyage made by the factory itself. It's unusually traditional in its looks, compared with the other bodies. The car wasn't sold and remained in the Bugatti family possession until 1950 when, together with s/n 41141, it was bought from Ettore's daughter by Briggs Cunningham. Next owners were: Cameron Peck of Chicago, B. Skitarelic and Jack Nethercutt. The Harrah Collection acquired the car in 1964. Later it was sold to Texan Jerry Moore and finally to Tom Monaghan (of Domino's Pizza). Recently, the car was co-owned by the Blackhawk Collection and the Imperial Palace Collection. The current owner is one Mr. Lee from Korea.
    Last edited by go.pawel; 01-15-2008 at 01:34 AM.
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  4. #4
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    If I remember correctly, probably incorrect though, One of them (Don't know Chasis number or anything) was bought by some Englishman I believe, then he moved it a couple of times during WWII and eventually it came to the states. In the 40s or 50s the engine block cracked and he dumped it in a junkyard. It has since been bought and restored by the Henry Ford Museum. Here is a picture from the Meadowbrook Concours in Detroit, MI
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScionDriver View Post
    If I remember correctly, probably incorrect though, One of them (Don't know Chasis number or anything) was bought by some Englishman I believe, then he moved it a couple of times during WWII and eventually it came to the states. In the 40s or 50s the engine block cracked and he dumped it in a junkyard. It has since been bought and restored by the Henry Ford Museum. Here is a picture from the Meadowbrook Concours in Detroit, MI
    It's the Weinberger Roadster (s/n 41121). The owner was a German surgeon, dr Josef Fuchs of Munich. He took the car with him to Triest, Shanghai and later to New York. In 1938 the engine got broken and in 1943 the car was sent to scrapyard. There it was bought by Charles Chayne (the future VP of GM) for $412 In 1958 the car was donated to the Henry Ford Museum, where it still resides.
    It's not denial. I'm just very selective about the reality I accept.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by go.pawel View Post
    It's the Weinberger Roadster (s/n 41121). The owner was a German surgeon, dr Josef Fuchs of Munich. He took the car with him to Triest, Shanghai and later to New York. In 1938 the engine got broken and in 1943 the car was sent to scrapyard. There it was bought by Charles Chayne (the future VP of GM) for $412 In 1958 the car was donated to the Henry Ford Museum, where it still resides.
    Thank you for clarifying, I knew the end but not the detailed beginning.

  8. #8
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    I recall the cars in Reno. It is terrible that Holiday Inn felt they had to sell to sell the collection...it was so much more than a bunch of cars.

    anyway, the yellow car was in Danville CA at Blackhawk museum as of about 18 months ago.

  9. #9
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    s/n 41111 is currently in vienna on display called Chromjuwelen
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