Image credits: © Bugatti.
1931 Bugatti Type 41 news, pictures, specifications, and information
The Bugatti Type 41, better known as the Royale, is one of the most extreme luxury cars ever built. It was enormous, with a 169.3-inch wheelbase and 21-foot overall length. It weighed 7,000 lbs and used a massive 12.7-liter straight-eight engine. Everything about the Royale was magnificent. Its cast 'Roue Royale' wheels measured 24-inches in diameter. All six production Royales still exist; each wears a different body, some having been rebodied several times.
The massive engine (apx. 4.5 feet long x 3.5 feet high), produced 275 to 300 horsepower, its cylinders, bored to 125 by 130 mm, each displaced more than the entire engine of the contemporary Type 40 touring car. It was a high-tech design, as well, with 3 valves per cylinder driven by a single overhead camshaft. Nine bearings were specified for reliability, but only a single custom carburetor was needed.
Only six Royales were built between 1929 and 1933, with just three sold to external customers. The second, displayed here, was owned by a German obstetrician, Dr. 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. The car surfaced in a New York junkyard in 1943 and was bought and restored by a General Motors executive, Charles Chayne. In 1958, he and his wife, Ester, donated it to the Henry Ford Museum.
The second production Royale built, it was ordered by Dr. Joseph Fuchs, a German physician and successful amateur racing driver. Dr. Fuchs had the 169.3-inch wheelbase chassis, which was delivered in 1931, bodied by Weinberger of Munich. Delivery of the completed Cabriolet occurred during 1932.
Shortly after Adolph Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, Dr. Fuchs slipped away to Switzerland and soon traveled on to the lively open city of Shanghai, China. He had his massive Bugatti shipped to him there, but by 1937, the advance of Japanese troops into the south of China put the Doctor and his Royale on the move yet again.
Dr. Fuchs and Bugatti next traveled to Canada and then down to New York City. There, the 12.7-liter straight-eight engine in the Royale fell victim to the American winter of 1937-1938-water froze in the block, severely damaging and cracking it. Dr. Fuchs tried to sell his large, broken car, but there were no takers. Eventually it ended up in a Bronx salvage yard.
During World War II, Charles Chayne, a General Motors executive engineer, found out about the Royale in the junkyard and rescued it in 1943. He began to repair the engine and restore the car after peace returned in 1946, completing the project just a year later. Chayne also installed a custom manifold with four Stromberg carburetors in place of the original single carburetor and converted the original mechanical brakes to a hydraulic system.
During its restoration, the exterior color was changed from the original black to oyster white. Chayne also replaced the interior, modifying it to make it more adaptive to his 6-foot, 3-inch frame.
In 1958, Chayne and his wife, Esther, donated the Royale Cabriolet to the Henry Ford Museum. The museum took actual possession in 1959 and the car has remained part of the collection there since. In May 2007, technicians from Classic & Exotic Services helped get the big car running for the first time in several years. It is rarely removed from display at the museum, so the opportunity to view it on the grounds of Meadow Brook Hall and to see and hear it run and drive, is indeed a treat of the first magnitude.
|Coupe de Ville|
|FORD MUSTANG RETURNS TO NEW YORK TO CELEBRATE 50 YEARS; 1967 SHELBY GT500 MUSTANG FASTBACK WINS BEST IN SHOW|
|◾Ford executives bring the all-new Mustang to the site of the 1964 World's Fair, where the original Mustang debuted 50 years ago ◾Hundreds of area Mustang club enthusiasts celebrate the iconic pony car, with 94 classic Mustangs on display in front of the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows Park ◾1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang fastback owned by David Davidson is chosen by Moray Callum, Ford vice president of design, as best in show Ford Mustang fans and company executives gathered at Flushing Meadows P...[Read more...]|
|GM FOUNDATION GRANT SENDS 256 DETROIT CHILDREN TO PRESCHOOL|
|DETROIT – The General Motors Foundation is making a quality preschool education possible for 256 children in Detroit's most challenged neighborhoods through a $500,000 grant in support of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) of Michigan. 'Early education is a critical factor in the long-term success of our children. This very generous gift from the GM Foundation will make a huge difference in the lives of our children, and we are very grateful for the support,' Education Achieveme...[Read more...]|
|'OPENING THE HIGHWAYS' ARTWORK RESTORED AS FORD BUILDS ON CENTURY-PLUS LEGACY OF MOBILITY LEADERSHIP|
|◾'Opening the Highways' Ford advertisement first printed in 1925 still used to summarize company's vision for automotive leadership ◾Ford and The Henry Ford work together to restore historic painting used in the ad ◾Restored painting and ad unveiled in Henry Ford Museum's 'Driving America' exhibit DEARBORN, Mich., June 24, 2013 – A nearly 90-year-old advertisement that propelled Ford Motor Company's vision for putting the world on wheels and recently helped transform the company from...[Read more...]|
|Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este 2013: Classic Weekend On Lake Como|
|On the weekend of 24 – 26 May 2013, the spectacular grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d'Este and Villa Erba in Cernobbio on Lake Como will once again be transformed into a unique stage for the most beautiful automobiles and motorcycles from the past and the most extravagant concept cars of the present day. First held at the same location in 1929, the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este today ranks as the most traditional show of its kind in the world. It lays on an extensive programme throughout the...[Read more...]|
|Unique Ford Shelby GT500 To Be Auctioned Saturday|
|On Saturday, Sept. 22, Ford Motor Company and Henry Ford Health System will auction a fabulous, one-of-a-kind 2013 Ford Shelby GT500. As part of its 2012 'Get Your Heart Racing' event and charity auction, Henry Ford Health System has once again called on the creative talents of Ford designer Melvin Betancourt. To thank the dedicated team at Henry Ford Health System that Betancourt credits with saving his life when he was treated for a serious heart condition, the designer has focused all of h...[Read more...]|
|1931 Bugatti models|
|Bugatti Type 37|
|Bugatti Type 40A|
|Bugatti Type 44|
|Bugatti Type 49|
|Bugatti Type 50|
|Bugatti Type 51|
|Bugatti Type 51 Coupe|
|Bugatti Type 54|
|Other models by Bugatti|
|Type 39 and Type 39A|