1930 Bugatti Type 46 Napoleon Coupé
£650,000 | Location: United Kingdom
Re-constructed in the late 1970's and early 1980's from the remains of a Type 46 chassis found near Toulouse and an original Type 46 engine from a car destroyed during the war in the Vosges region.
The car was a labour of love for the builder, taking 10 years and over 4,000 man hours to complete, along with various specialists being enlisted to help. The body was made by Fred Peppiat and UK based Stephen Langton. Templates were taken from the original Royale & scaled down to fit the shorted wheelbase of the type 46.
Numerous parts were sand cast from scratch as exact copies of the originals. The radiator carries, at its base, the name of the craftsman who made it "Lebret bodybuilder from Forges-les-Eaux" in France, as an exact copy fabricated from original drawings. The famous Bugatti light alloy wheels were moulded in Sureness from an existing set in Grenoble that served as a model, to a diameter of 0.845m, including tyres.
The Smith-Barriquand carburetor heater ball, a very delicate piece, was missing and had to be specially moulded and machined from scratch. The exhaust pipes were fabricated, coated inside with heat resistant material, and enamelled in an oven, in the Lyons region.
The blue and black bodywork is entirely aluminum on wood frame. The passenger compartment features a faithful copy of the cabinetry of the Royale Coupé, with clock and speedometer in a fruit wood dash board. The front seats and panels are black leather with blue velvet to the rear quarters. Paintwork was applied in two tones with no less then 12 coats to achieve the deep luster the car exhibits.
This beautiful Type 46 reconstruction made its first runs at the end of 1986 before being exhibited at the "Auto Festival" the same year. The "Auto Retro" magazine of October 1987 highlights the car in a 6-page article. The English magazine, "The Automobile", used the car for its front cover and two long articles reported by the journalist Toby Ross in December 1987 and January 1988.
Available now, the car is in perfect running condition and indeed was driven to and won its class at the 2019 Schloss Schwetzingen Concours D'Elegance in Germany.