Bugatti Type 46 bought direct from Roland Bugatti up for sale

Bugatti first sold this Type 46 to a close friend, who had big plans for it before selling it on

Referred to as 'La Petite Royale', the Type 46 was Bugatti’s piece de resistance for 1929. The undeniable 5.3-litre luxury car was designed to carry the most extravagantly equipped coachwork. Although not petite at all, weighing in around 2500 pounds, it did have a lot in common with the later Royale, including the three-speed gearbox in the rear axle and the long stroke engine. However, the Type 46 was embraced far better by an international market in financial crisis than the Type 41 Royale and saw production numbers of more than 400.

"A really solidly built, beautifully sprung, comfortable saloon car with exceptionally rapid acceleration through its speed range," was how The Motor magazine described the car in 1930.

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"It combines the luxury of a large limousine, the flexibility and top gear performance of a thoroughbred town carriage with the perfect road holding, the speed and acceleration of the best type of sports model."

In the fall of 1980 a series of letters from Don Stanford to Russ Sceli in 1952 were published by Andy Rheault in the American Bugatti Club journal, Pur Sang Vol. 21, No. 3. revealing the history of the car.

The two chassis’ that Roland Bugatti's close friend Richard Baudens bought from him included this model, which Baudens kept with the goal of having a body built for it. He failed in that, and it passed through the hands of Micheal Glass and Charles Howard to the present owner who visioned the Superprofilée body for the chassis.

The restoration of chassis number 46491 was started at Barrie Price's workshops and finished at Keith Bowley's renowned Ashton Keynes house in the British Cotswolds area, resulting in the chassis finally wearing a period style coachwork in black over blue. The car has been displayed occasionally including twice at the Salon Privé event in 2009 and 2010, but has never been shown publicly at any USA Concours events.

Bonhams Scottsdale Auction will show the 1931 Bugatti Type 46 'Superprofilée' Coupe, which is expected to sell for $750,000 - $1,000,000 or £600,000 - £800,000, on January 17.

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