After Hours

Rail, auto, and aviation innovations at The Henry Ford history museum

Tech of the past: Bugatti Type 41

If the limousines of earlier slides weren't enough for you, this 1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale convertible ought to be. Costing $43,000 (31 years average salary), it was a car for only the most elite. In fact, this particular unit is one of only six Bugatti Royales ever made, and this one was a world traveller. It was built in France and then purchased by a German physician who first fled to China after Hitler was made chancellor and then went to Canada after Japan invaded China. After travelling across Canada, it ended up in New York, where it suffered a crack in the engine block rendering it unmovable (under its own power). Finally, it was bought and restored by the chief engineer (and later, VP) of Buick who restored it and sold it to The Henry Ford museum. More trivia: All six Bugatti Royales were gathered together in Pebble Beach, California at the Concours d'Elegance in 1985.

Photo by Wally Bahny for TechRepublic

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