All Six Bugatti Royale Cars Displayed Together For First Time
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) _ All six Bugatti Royales, huge classic limousines from the ’20s and ’30s, have been brought from museums in this country and France and displayed together for perhaps the first time.
″This will never happen again,″ said Bill Jacobs of Chicago as he examined the cars at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a display and competition of classic cars.
The cars built in France between 1927 and 1933 were arranged together Sunday in front of the Del Monte Lodge.
The Royale was the biggest car ever built for personal road use, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The 8-cylinder cars each weigh about 7,000 pounds. The wheelbases are about 20 feet long, with the longest 22 feet long.
The Royale chassis sold for $25,000 when it was introduced at the onset of the Depression. The body was an additional expense, built to customer specifications.
The elegant, exclusive autos were dubbed ″the car of kings″ by manufacturer Ettore Bugatti, a pioneer French autobuilder more well known for fast, strong cars that dominated racing around the time the Royales were assembled.
They include the 1933 Park Ward limousine and the 1927 Coupe Napoleon from the Musee National de l’Automobile at Mulhouse, France; the 1931 Weinberger cabriolet from the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.; the 1931 Kellner Coach from the Cunningham Automotive Collection in Costa Mesa, Calif.; and the 1931 Berline de Voyage and 1931-32 Binder Coupe de Ville, from Harrah’s Automobile Collection in Reno, Nev.
″I think they’re amazing,″ said Bruce Anderson of Sunnyvale. ″I’ve traveled all over the world to see them.″
″I don’t think it’s their engineering,″ he said. ″It’s their stature. They’re so grandiose, but so beautifully proportioned.″
The autos have been valued at up to $3 million each, but a buyer can sometimes get lucky.
The Ford Museum’s Royale was given to it by Charles Chayne, a former General Motors executive. He said he found the car in a New York City junkyard in 1942 and bought it for $400.