Sold for $1,017,500 at 2012 RM Sothebys. Sold for $869,025 (€672,000) at 2013 RM Sothebys. Of all of Bugatti's exceptional and advanced designs none perhaps were more elegant and stately than the Type 46. An incredible amalgamation of elegant, sweeping lines and an imposing stature, the Type 46 would speak of performance and affluence just in one glance.
The beginnings of the Type 46 would actually be found with Ettore Bugatti's Type 41 and 44 models. The Type 46 would combine the stateliness of the Type 41 with its tall nose and large wheels with the touring body styles of the 44.
However, there was perhaps no other automaker that offered as many body styles and designs as Bugatti. Within the Type 46 line there were a number of different hand-made body styles that would be offered but perhaps none of them would be evoking as Jean Bugatti's Superprofile.
Also called the ‘Petit Royale' for its similarity to the Type 41 Royale, the Superprofile would offer 16-inch wheels with self-adjusting, cable-operated drum brakes and a resemblance similar to the 4.3-meter long wheelbase of the imposing luxury car.
Everything about Bugatti's cars, and especially the Type 46, would be special and one of a kind. Starting with the smooth running long-stroke 5.4-liter inline eight cylinder engine, Bugatti had a truly exclusive lineup. Featuring an engine casting process that included the cylinders themselves, Bugatti's engine would end up being very narrow and rectangular in their shape as there were no engine pieces needing to be put together. Boasting of three valves per cylinder and twin spark plugs, the engine was capable of producing 140 brake horsepower all while operating smoothly as one would expect from a luxury car.
While Bugatti's engines were handcrafted and specially-built, the coachwork would be every bit as unique and exclusive. In fact, in the book Bugatti Type 46: La Petite Royale written by Bohuslav Klein, Roland Saunier and Kees Jansen, amongst the Bugatti's extensive range of cars, 'no other Bugatti Type motivated so many European bodymakers in the thirties to build such exclusive bodies as this one did.' And perhaps none are as inspiring as the Superprofile.
A study in shapes and mergers, the Superprofile is an incredibly intelligent fusion of sweeping arcs and rectangular patterns, but they are just a couple of the shapes that make up the truly remarkable and artistic design. Elements of wedges and circles all come together to produce a true piece of art.
One such piece of art would be chassis 46208. Believed to originally have a four-door conduite interieure coachwork, 46208 would initially ordered by Bugatti dealer Dominique Lamberjack of Paris in January 1930. Ordered with another chassis at a cost of 72,200 Francs, 46208 would be delivered and still retains engine number 77. And throughout the mid-to-late thirties this particular chassis would be registered to a number of different owners living throughout Paris. After a brief period of time in the village Villeneuve-sur-Lot, the car would return to Paris just in time to be purchased and shipped to Aalholm Automobile Museum in Nystead, Denmark as the personal property of Baron John Raben-Levetzau.
Fast-forwarding history, the car still retained its four-door coachwork when its present owner decided to have the car more appropriately honor Bugatti's influential design and heritage. Therefore, the car would be shipped to New South Wales, Australia to Mr. Ken Haywood. Mr. Haywood's coachbuilding has been regarded as one of the finest in the world and has responsible for a number of award-winning cars. Mr. Haywood would be contracted to design and build a faithful recreation of Jean Bugatti's 'Superprofile'.
The desired option would not be easy by any means. The truly spectacular design was not an easy accomplishment, and with only a few examples still remaining in existence, there wouldn't be much to draw from. However, when finished, the new coachwork would have to be considered one of the finest of Mr. Haywood's accomplishments.
Adorned in a striking black with bright yellow panels, the finish of the car only draws the eye to the fantastic lines and features of the coachwork. From its steeply-raked windscreen, to its flawless wood dash and steering wheel, to its brown Ostrich leather, this particular recreation of Superprofile certainly does the heritage and memory of Bugatti proud.
Highlighted with an engine tuning and a cleanliness that gives the aura of the car having just been delivered by Ettore himself, the gleaming chrome radiator and period-correct Goodrich Silvertown tires only add to this already scintillating and inspiring representation of the Type that inspired some of the grandest automotive works of art the world has ever seen.
Upon completion, the car would be shown at the 2011 Sydney Concours where it won honors. The car would then be offered at the 2012 Amelia Island RM Auction. And at an estimated value of between $1,250,000 and $1,750,000, it is clear the car is expected to earn even more honors.
This truly eye-catching car would attract a lot of attention and admiration at this year's auction. And when it was all said and done, this recreation of a 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Superprofile would garner a sale price of $1,017,500.
Sources: 'Lot No. 178: 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Superprofile Coupe', (http://www.rmauctions.com/CarDetails.cfm?SaleCode=AM12&CarID=r226&Currency=USD). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/CarDetails.cfm?SaleCode=AM12&CarID=r226&Currency=USD. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
'Bugatti: 1929 Bugatti Type 46', (http://www.supercars.net/cars/2762.html). Supercars.net. http://www.supercars.net/cars/2762.html. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
'Bugatti: 1930 Bugatti Type 41 Royale', (http://www.supercars.net/cars/2757.html). Supercars.net. http://www.supercars.net/cars/2757.html. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Bugatti Type 46', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 November 2011, 19:13 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bugatti_Type_46&oldid=459843594 accessed 15 March 2012
Wikipedia contributors, 'Bugatti Royale', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 February 2012, 11:55 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bugatti_Royale&oldid=477696432 accessed 15 March 2012 By Jeremy McMullen
Sold for $861,086 (€632,500) at 2011 Bonhams. Sold for $951,000 at 2013 Bonhams. Well and truly one of the first to combine performance with elegance, every model Ettore Bugatti determined to build seemed to surprise in more ways than one. Always elegant, Bugatti found a way to be really the first to incorporate speed and handling into the style to create something truly memorable and desirable. A great example of this masterstroke of automotive genius would be Bugatti's Type 46 Faux Cabriolet.
Car building and design seemed to be Bugatti's own personal playground. Audacious ideas seemingly rolled out of the Molsheim factory with great regularity. Some ideas, like the Type 41 Royale, were so audacious they were practically impractical. However, Bugatti always seemed to know, always seemed to have that touch, that could turn an impracticality into a spectacular and revered design.
Bugatti had produced cars known for their performance. Bugattis built for road races would become the car to have for the best drivers in the world during the early 20th century. However, because of the blend of performance and elegance, Bugattis would be the car the racing driver would also want to have to drive between venues. The reason for this was very simple: Bugatti was one of the first to employ technology used and gained from the racing world into his production model touring cars. This gave the driver the sensation of great grand prix driving while coasting along the roads en route to another race.
One of those that would capture the imagination would be the Type 46. Based upon the successful Type 35 racing car, the Type 46 would make use of the same, just updated version, of the famous straight-eight Bugatti engine. Utilizing a single overhead camshaft, the 5.3-liter cast-iron engine was capable of producing 140bhp. Combine this with the cable-operated drum brakes and the rigid axles with semi-elliptic leaf springs and the Type 46 was yet another solid handling car.
The Type 46, however, wasn't just some ideas thrown together to create the latest model Bugatti. No, Bugatti's policy of employing racing technology with a touring car comfort and elegance would come shining through. And, perhaps this maxim couldn't be better illustrated or exemplified than with the Type 46 Faux Cabriolet.
Affectionately known as 'La Petite Royale', the Type 46 would utilize many of the same features that had made the Type 41 Royale impractical, and that is what helped to make the Type 46 all the more desirable. In time, a total of 444 would be built plus an extra 18 with supercharging.
Building some of the best chassis in the world at the time, Bugatti would then attract some of the best coachbuilders of the day to lend their talents in making some truly rare and memorable touring cars.
One of those to throw their hat in the ring to help build the Bugatti reputation for style and elegance would be the coachbuilder Veth & Zoon established in Arnhem, Holland in 1840. Like many others of its day, Veth & Zoon (Veth & Son) would start out designing and building horse-drawn carriages, but then would switch to powered transport by the end of the 19th century. A regular source of style and elegance for the Dutch Royal Family, Veth & Zoon would grow quickly in the years prior to World War I. This would lead to them being willing to combine their artistic talents with Bugatti's abilities.
In April of 1930, the 18th of 35 Type 46 chassis would leave the Molsheim factory. The chassis would be ordered by H Stam, a Dutch Bugatti agent located just a handful of miles south-east of Amsterdam. Stam would take delivery of the car for his client, a C.D. Klos and the delivery of chassis 46293 would take place on the 14th of April, 1930.
Klos had commissioned Veth & Son of Arnhem to produce a Faux Cabriolet coachwork for his new Type 46 based upon his previous pleasure with a Faux Cabriolet design he had had completed for a Type 44 Bugatti he had purchased a couple of years before.
Chassis 46293 would be completed with its Faux Cabriolet styling and would remain in Klos' ownership well into the late 1950s. Then, by the early 1960s, the car would come to be in the hands of its second owner, a F.L. Boele van Hensbroek of Rotterdam.
The Type 46, with its matching engine, was believed to remain in Boele van Hensbroek's possession well into the 1970s, but the actual history of the car throughout this period of time is somewhat of a mystery. According to the Dutch Bugatti Club, 46293 had spent some time in Belgium and in other places, but it is hard to confirm. What is known is that after van Hensbroek, the car would come to be in the hands of four more Dutch owners and that it had later been registered with the number 'K-6588'.
Then, after decade upon decade on Dutch ownership, the Type 46 would come to be purchased by an American, William 'Bill' Borchert Larsen of Wisconsin. Owning a Bugatti had become a passion for Larsen, and, after the suggestion of Alpine Eagle restorations in the U.K., the Veth & Zoon Type 46 would become his.
The car would remain in Europe as it needed some work, which would be completed by Alpine Eagle restorations. Alpine Eagle would conduct a thorough rebuild and restoration of the car, tearing it down until, literally, every component of the car was in pieces. Unfortunately, it was in the middle of this process that Larsen would pass away. This left a Type 46 in pieces at Alpine Eagle's shop. However, another enthusiast would step into the picture and would see that the restoration of the car could be completed. At a cost of more than half a million dollars, the car would be completed in 2010.
Photographically documented throughout every step, the rebuilt car would also come with all relevant invoices pertaining to the restoration, as well as, a leather-bound professional presentation with some incredible studio photographs. Making its debut at the Bugatti Rally in 2010, the Bugatti Type 46, still with its matching engine, would certainly attract a crowd.
Sold in 2011, the car's current owner determined the restoration work was yet to be completed and invested another $10,000 for additional work to be completed. The result is a truly stunning 'La Petite Royale', full of authenticity and fabulous in just about every way.
Certain to be a crowd-pleaser at any concours event and a stunning centerpiece of any collection, chassis 46293 would be offered at the Bonhams Scottsdale auction held in January of 2013. Due to its highly-original nature and freshly-completed restoration, the Type 46 was estimated to garner between $900,000 and $1,200,000 prior to auction.
Sources: 'Lot 313: 'La Petite Royale', ex-William 'Bill' Borchert Larsen, 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Faux Cabriolet Chassis no. 46293 Engine no. 157', (http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20582/lot/313/). Bonhams. http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20582/lot/313/. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
'Call for Entries Announced; Bugatti Type 46 and Mercedes-Benz Gullwing lead the list of early consignments', (http://www.bonhams.com/press_release/11893/). Bonhams. http://www.bonhams.com/press_release/11893/. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
'1930 Bugatti Type 46 News, Pictures and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/z21329/Bugatti-Type-46.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/z21329/Bugatti-Type-46.aspx. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
'Bugatti Type 46 Veth & Zoon Faux Cabriolet', (http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/4695/Bugatti-Type-46-Veth-and-Zoon-Faux-Cabriolet.html). Ultimatecarpage.com: Powered by Knowledge, Driven by Passion. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/4695/Bugatti-Type-46-Veth-and-Zoon-Faux-Cabriolet.html. Retrieved 7 January 2013.By Jeremy McMullen
One of the most elegant and luxurious Bugattis, the Type 46 was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in late 1929, and around 450 examples were produced. Bridging the gap between the opulent Royale and the Type 44, the Type 46 - also known as La Petite Royale - was Bugatti's standard luxury model. It is powered by an impressive 5.4-liter single-overhead-camshaft 8-cylinder engine.
This example was bodied by the relatively unknown carrosserie of Gaston Grumman of Clichy in France. It was shown by its first owner at the 1930 Paris Concours d'Elegance where it won every award for which it was eligible.
The Bugatti Type 46 was produced from 1929 through 1936 with a total of 444 examples produced. The supercharged version, the Type 46S, was introduced a year later - in 1930. In total, there were only 18 examples of the Type 46S produced.
When Bugatti introduced the Type 46, they had an impressive lineage of vehicles in which they offered their clients. At the top of the pack was the legendary Bugatti Royale (Type 41), which was far beyond what most customers could ever afford. The Type 46 was to become Bugatti's luxurious flagship that was both large and comfortable. It included many of the design elements that could be traced back to the Royale.
The Type 46 Bugatti was fitted with a straight-eight engine, a three-speed gearbox, Rudge wire wheels, and cable operated brakes. The engine was fitted with a Smith-Bariquand Multi-Jet Carburetor, had single overhead camshafts, a 5359cc displacement size, and a deep one-piece cylinder block, which incorporated the main bearing supports and the Type 41's 130mm piston stroke.
The one-piece cylinder block and head was almost completely covered by a hand-scraped aluminum plate secured by rows of brightly polished fasteners with polished fittings and covers.
With its ultra-long stroke, the Type 46 had impressive low-speed performance, thus its need for only a three-speed gearbox, which was mounted in unit with the rear axle.
The car rode on a comfortable 137.8-inch wheelbase. The engine was rubber-mounted in the frame which aided in quiet operation. With 444 naturally aspirated Type 46 models sold and an additional 18 with superchargers, the Type 46 was a very successful commercial product for the Bugatti Company.
Bugatti had added their own coachworks facility in Molsheim in 1928, thus allowing them to provide their own coachwork. The upper-class clientele needing more were able to take the rolling chassis to the coachbuilder of their choice. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2009
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