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Bugatti Type 46S Cabriolet 1930

During the late 1920s and early '30s the unmistakeably grand Type 41 'Royale' topped the Bugatti range. With its staggering 4.3 metre wheelbase and an herculean straight eight engine displacing 12.7 litre, the T41's notoriety was assured. It also created an enormous void between itself and the company's next largest model.

To bridge the gap Ettore Bugatti needed to build a car of similar appeal and distinction but with smaller proportions. Launched in 1929, the Type 46 met the brief perfectly. Althought affectionately known as the 'Petite Royale', nothing about its 5,359 cc. straight eight or 3.5 metre wheelbase chassis was small.

Jean Bugatti penned a number of in-house bodies for the car, most notably the Superprofilee, but approximately 40 external coachbuilders received commissions to work on a T46. A test performed by The Motor in 1930 reported that the car combined 'the luxury of a large limousine and perfect flexibility and top gear performance of a thoroughbred low carriage with the perfect road holding, speed and acceleration of the best type of sports model.'

With the Great Depression looming and contemporaries like Bentley being placed into receivership, Bugatti did exceedingly well to sell over 400 examples. Despite utilising torque   through a three speed gearbox customers craved more power, and an "S" variant joined the range in 1930. The addition of a Roots-type supercharger and two Zenith carburettors provided an increase of 20 hp, but the significant price of the T46S, and its largely unfelt improvement, put customers off. Ultimately, fewer than 20 examples were sold.

The Bugatti Type 46S illustrated here was presented by Fiskens at thye 2014 Retromobile Classic car Show in Paris. It is one of the ultra-exclusive S models sold new to Swiss Bugatti importer Bucar. Bodied in Switzerland by Reinboldt & Christies as a four door cabriolet, Chassis N° 46525 eventually resurface in the USA.

Discovered and acquired in the 1980s by world-renowned collector Henry Petronis, Chassis N° 46525 began a 14-year long restoration in which key original parts were sourced to return the car to its former splendor. Finished in enchanting claret red with a complementary beige folding roof, this is believed to be the only open T46S left in existence, and arguably the best restored example.

Wallpapers: Bugatti Type 46S Cabriolet 1930 (click on image to enlarge)

Bugatti Type 46S Cabriolet 1930 Bugatti Type 46S Cabriolet 1930 Bugatti Type 46S Cabriolet 1930 Bugatti Type 46S Cabriolet 1930
Bugatti Type 46S Cabriolet 1930 Bugatti Type 46S Cabriolet 1930 Bugatti Type 46S Cabriolet 1930 Bugatti Type 46S Cabriolet 1930
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