That Royale!

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The Bugatti Royale sold for £5,000,000 at a Christie’s Auction has been just about done to death in the media. The price paid by London vintage-car dealer Nicholas Harley (actually £5,575,000 including auction fees and VAT) must be a spin-off from the drop in value of sterling and stocks and shares, for there is no car less usable today than this enormous white elephant. We would much prefer a few Grand Prix Bugattis, which could be raced or used on the road!

There is no need to fear that this astronomical sum will affect the ordinary run of old-car prices, because it can only be regarded as the value now placed on anything collectable — far removed from the value of a car to be used as a piece of engineering, as Ettore Bugatti intended when he conceived the Royale.

To Doug Nye goes the credit for having a journalistic drive in this odd motor car (I believe DSJ went out in it many years ago without making a song and dance of the experience) but the thing has been so overdone that most people must be bored to tears with even a whisper of the word “Royale”.