All of his life Ettore Bugatti was swimming against the tide. At the beginning of the 30’s – while the impacts of the stock market crash were still perceptible – Bugatti was already planning a big coup. He wanted to conquer the prestigious British market with an unsurpassable luxurious automobile. To implement this coup, Bugatti instructed the famous French coachbuilder Kellner who had worked for Hispano Suiza and Duesenberg. The result of their cooperation: the Kellner Coupe – based on the Royale chassis-nr. 41 141. On the Olympia Show in London, the unique vehicle was by far most expensive car in the world.
The Royale Kellner Coupe was celebrated for its nobility and timeless elegance that – with it’s dimensions of a total length of six metres – seemed to be art or an illusion rather than an automobile. Eventually, it was never sold. Together with another Royale, it remained the property of the Bugatti family. During WWII, the family struggled hard to move the automotive monument on the way from one hiding-place to another.
In 1950, Ettore Bugatti’s daughters sold the Kellner Coupe to Briggs Cunningham, whose collection, The Cunningham Museum, was literally crowned by the Royale. In 1987, Robert Brooks sold the Kellner Coupe during a sensational auction at Royal Albert Hall in London. It was purchased by a Swedish investor, paying more than 4.830.000 Pounds. A record – the famous Coupe became the world’s most expensive car. Three years later the record was beaten by a Ferrari 250 GTO that was sold for more than 5 million Pounds by Sothebys.
Lately, the current owner of the Kellner Coupe instructed Bonhams & Brooks London to sell the royal automobile. Simon Kidston – President of Bonhams & Brooks Europe – will take care of the discrete sale. Not open to public. A price of around an eight-figure-sum – US Dollars, of course…