cover 22 pages. Pictures up to date year 2000.
© Bjorn Bellander Created 2006
since060105 Update: 2017-04-19
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The National Motor museum in France is also named Collection Schlumpf.This museum is situated in a small French town, Mulhouse, while Molsheim was the place for old Bugatti factory. Everything ca 10 to 50 km south Strasbourg.
The origin of the museum has it's own history. Schlumpf was a textile factory in Mulhouse. During the 60:th and 70:th it was crisis for all textile producers. In France they got support from government (just as in Sweden). Management of Schlumpf were Bugatti enthusiasts and used the support money to buy as many veteran cars as they could and built up their own renovation division. Everything in highest secrecy. This however coasted the textile factory so much money that their losses were increasing. French state could not accept that the factory was set on bankruptcy gave them even more money. This could of course not continue so at last factory was bankrupt. Family Schlumpf escaped to Switzerland. When people opened up the secret areas here they found over 400 veteran cars. The workers became very angry and wished to make revolution, and destroy it all, as revenge. Fortunately the leading persons and French state realized the worth of the collection and stopped the workers.
We can thank family SCHLUMPF to be the somewhat doubtful cause for one of the finest museums in Europe. NB. At the opening festival representatives from the family was invited to the museum, which also can be seen on photos.
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Bugatti Royale Esders
Type 41 1930/1990
8 cyl. 12.76 liter engine 300 ps at 1700 rpm.
Max speed 200 km/h. All according to the sign for this car. The shown car is a copy, built on a remaining chassis, the seventh, and parts from other Bugatti cars. From the beginning this was a car Bugatti built for himself. Later sold to the textile manufacturer Esders. You can see a picture of the original in the Bugatti catalogue from the 100 years anniversary.
As complete drawings not were available, the body must follow design from photos and other Royale cars. The car is placed in the finest place of the museum. The first room all visitors will come into, after they have shown their tickets or course. It becomes like an ovation for Bugatti himself. Note that the car has no headlights. Esders had no intention to drive when it was dark. The rear axle width seems to be to small. Everything according to the prototype. A reflection, the Bugatti factory was bankrupt at the end of 50:th. Now the name has got such a reputation that Volkswagen has bought the rights to produce luxury cars named Bugatti in Molsheim, if not the French government had supported Bugatti so the factory had survived this was not possible. France have now got a sport/luxury car producer with a superior name.
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Bugatti Royale Type 41 ca 1930
The picture is a flash photo in the hall for special interesting veteran cars ewith high value. The body model is of the type Coupe de Ville with open driver seat and an extravagant passenger coupe. Note the door handle and the large diameter steering wheel. It hadn't been bad with servo steering. One may wonder at what occasions this type of body was to be used. One perhaps to the theatre, opera or a romantic tour in the Boulogne Park. Paris large public sporting area. A Royale had a prize of 3 times as much as the most expensive Rolls Royce. Not even royal persons could justify this. Only 6 Royale were built. From these only 3 were sold between 1932-33. Today these original cars are still left, and 2 replicas built by more or less many original parts. 2 of the originals are at Schlumpf and one rebuild, the Esder car. 1 original in America (Binder, it was Esders with rebuild body) and one in Japan. At Sinsheim museum Germany there is one rebuild for a movie play. This car is accepted as a truly identical Royale. The engine, a straight 8-cyl. 12.76 liter can be derived as a follower to the Bugatti engine constructed for the air industry 1918 with similarities to Duesenberg, on order from the French state. See more on the page about Bugatti engines. Later it was used for rail cars. The French rails were supplied with sufficient number of engines. One bad point was that cylinder head was integrated with the cylinder casting. This means that complete engine must be dismantled when service had to be done because of valves. In the 30:th this had to be done quite frequently.
Here I have fetched a notice
from Ferrari Chat Forum from feb. 2005.
This photo is the first Royale. Jean l’Ebée Bugatti stands beside the car. Earlier picture (the green) shows the car that is rebuild and can be found at the museum. The design on this car is used on several of Jeans sport car models. A bit smaller of course.
Next photo shows a series of Bugattis which ends with a Royale alike sedan. In this, my little unscientific report, it is nr 2 and scraped. All cars in this picture have almost the same design, but in different sizes. Remember also the Binder car in America, from which I have not succeeded to get a copy (copyright).
Now we know 5 of 6 produced Royales. 2 in Bugatti museum, 1 in Japan, Thulincar (2006). The copy at Sinsheim (don't counts). Who can identify the 6:th car.
Read Briggs Cunningham driving his $10 million Royale
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Ettore Bugatti 1881 – 1947
Ettore was born in Milano Italy. His father Carlo was an acknowledged sculptor artist and died 1940. Ettore had a younger brother who died 1916. Both brothers had inherit their father's artistic gifts. Ettore was although already at 14 years of age turned to the mechanical, when he bought a tricycle 1895. At age of 19 he got work at a tricycle factory and as a cause of this he made improvements and success in competitions. This showed that his constructions were of good quality. He started to sell his own designs as options.
Gullineli (1900) financed a construction for a 4-cyl car. Ettore got medal for this at the Milano Car Fair 1901.
Baron DeDietrich who for a long time had searched for a project to his factory in Niederbronn, signed a contract with Ettore who moved there. During 3 years Ettore made a base model. 4 cyl chain drive. It was sold as DeDietrich-Bugatti. But it was not a financial success. Ettore joined instead with Mathis, who was an old friend. In this way Ettore came to Strasbourg. (1904) In the 20:th Mathis car was popular in Sweden. It had a 4 cyl. engine (follower of Bugattis 4 cyl), from the beginning of 1900. Mahtis made a small 3 wheel car 1947. You can see it in Allers Bilparad no. 80. 1906 they ended the cooperation and Ettore moved to Deutz in Köln. Here he produced 2 models. Apparently he was not satisfied with his works situation. He built a car of his own 1908, in the basement where he lived during his free time. It was called type 10 and is now owned by a private collector in USA. With this car in his box Ettore found a financier.
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Ettore moved back to the Alsac province. At that time
this was a part of Germany. In Mohlsheim he opened in an old color
factory production of his own cars. Here his homebuilt car became a
competition one, 1910, with the added name "Brescia" type 13.
This car is shown in "Stora Billexikonet", it is also saved
in the Hampton Collection in England. Type 13 is
built with the "Köln Car" in mind, with 4 cyl engine and overhead
1910-1914 Ettore sold a concept car model type 10 to Peugeot. It was given the name BeBe. Just before the first World War he released an engine model with 4 valves pro cylinder. The time till 1918 was most active period concerning new ideas for Ettore. During this time he set up ideas for the Royale car, ideas about rail cars and aircraft engines. For the time being car production was most important. He settled 4, 6 and 8 cyl engines with overhead camshaft. Chassis with rigid front and rear axles and reversed quarter elliptical plate springs. The oval, later horseshoe formed radiator. When the war break out, WWI, he moved to Paris (Mohlsheim was in Germany) and worked with aircraft engines. After the war he started up in Mohlsheim with car production. Though the years in Paris had given him such knowledge, contacts and understanding what was needed on the market, that car production became an economical side product. Perhaps more suitable work for his son Jean. The important unit in Ettores economical success was the Royale engine and the decrease of the market during the 20:th. Ettore had by luck produced all Royale engines. 25 was in the series. Only 3 were sold and six produced. What to do with the remaining 22 + reserve motors. Ettore had already early in the 20:th ideas about rail cars, forced forward by powerful engines. French state wanted to create work possibilities. This made that ministers listened to Ettores ideas. Royale engine that mainly was created during his time in Paris was used to other more or less successful projects.
Great men never get great followers. The fate to die too early for Jean 1939 at the age of 33 made that he never got the opportunity to show his skills. Ettore´s brother Rembrandt died 1916 32 years old. Jean was kept with hard hand by LePatron. When Jean constructed an individual front end for Type 57. Ettore was in Paris negotiated concerning his rail cars, unexpected came home and got to see Jean's secret project. It was call to account and Jean had to go back to Ettore principles. The necessarily improvement was closed down. Hydraulic brakes was not introduced until 1938. This is typical for constructers and their first successful product. Compare Sidney Allard and his famous Allard J2 models. He refused to changed the divided front beam. The car of course disappeared quickly from the race tracks.
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Clumsy attempts was done after the WWII to continue the
production. Ettore had big troubles to get his factory back in Mohlsheim.
This town became in France after the war. Jean was gone and Ettore was
fully occupied with his other engagements. During the war his business
was moved to Bordeaux *), where he was a subcontractor to Hispano Suiza,
who produced crankshafts for aircraft engines. His business had already
been divided into Bugatti Motors and Bugatti Equipment. Ettore died 1947
and left the car part without a strong leader. One product after the
other was dropped. But Bugatti Equipment was growing although they
produced aircraft parts (Messier). After an unsuccessful try to
construct a F1 car 1955, Bugatti Motors went bankruptcy. One family
member, Roland, demanded that the car must have a rigid front beam!!
Till 1939 nearly 8000 Bugatti cars were produced. Note that the name
Bugatti was not lost for the family. *) Ettore´s type 10 car was brought to Bordeaux and was there almost
forgotten, none in the Bugatti family cared. But later it was sold to an American
collector. It is saved.
*) Ettore´s type 10 car was brought to Bordeaux and was there almost forgotten, none in the Bugatti family cared. But later it was sold to an American collector. It is saved.Next Page 8 Former Last
Bugatti museum Dorlisheim
Bugatti´s family tomb in the old roman city of
Dorlisheim. The city is an old roman fortification from the time BC, included are
town wall and all that stuff. Here "la Fondation Prestige Bugatti"
has its own little museum. They are sharing their locals with roman
deposits. The things about Bugatti you can see on the pictures. But the
most interesting was a model of the ancient town.
On classical ground in Molsheim
Club premises in Dorlisheim
After the Messier-Bugatti visit, refreshments was needed. Our excellent guide, Paul Kestler, Bugatti freak more than all other together, guided us to the club premises for "la Fondation Prestige Bugatti". The house was from the beginning a hotel and celebration place after the victories. Bottom flat was at the disposal for the club The attraction here was one of the, see upper photo, garage doors, as they have got from Bugatti works. They have continued to renovate it for 3 years. Compare the door on the black and white picture with the 5 Bugattis. Behind the small "Royale" sedan. It is that kind of door a little shortened. Then we talked a little stuttering about everything. Paul got the feeling that it was in place to treat us with some white Bugatti wine. Everybody got a glass except our criminal superintendent, who for the moment was driving. Janne Berg made a speech of thanks. Well, we was beginning to be a little tired on all Bugatti impress so we thanked politely no for to be guided to see Jean´s accident place where he lost his life with a "Tank" Bugatti.
The front end of our VW-buss pointed towards Germany. We drove again through Strasbourg, the town that lies both in Germany and France. After some 10 km we found a suitable Gasthouse, where we had a superb "a la cart" discussing next museum that was Rosso Bianco in Aschaffenburg. The museum is well-known for its racing cars and excellent collection of Delahaye.
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in rail cars. Ettore got
an initial order of 9 railcars with 4 engines in each 1932. It is quit
clear that this engine by time became the Royale engine at 12.7 liter.
If you study the engine closely, you can see that cylinder part is one
unit. With other words no cylinder head. This gave problems with valves
which were to be serviced often. It was not so good material at that
time for valves and
valves seats (petrol no lead). Cylinder head! Ferrari 750 Monza-engine had
the same construction. In such a motor I made mechanical works
during the 60:th. A wonder of machine work with roller lifter, salt
cooled valves and only odd threads. The hair springs you only dismantled
if absolutely necessary. Besides that reality with a Ferrari Monza can
be a complete article. I resume to Bugatti.
Note also the typical work shop from this time with all wooden boxes. The slight blackened varnish from all oily fingers. You can imagine the engine supervisor in his grey something dirty overall, keeping a watching eye over his intensive working labor. The following picture shows the rail car application of the Royale engine during montage and test.
One tip for everybody that want to by a 8 cyl. 12 liter Bugatti engine. Search in the French railway storages. There you can find things. Every rail car had, many were built, 4 engines.
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The most spectacular project from 1927, was a submarine
like ship 35 m long. It was projected to sail between Brest and New York
in 50 hours. Compare the normal time over the Atlantic 5 days or 120
hours. With its submarine like construction it should sail through the
waves. Equipped with 8 big engines. Speed was calculated to 140 km/h
(What is that in knots?) Such petrol tanks! The project was abandoned.
No even any prototype was built. Look at the railing, broken. Typical for an
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Some pages with pictures from Bugatti museum.
Mark Dufaux, Biplace Course 100/120 PS 1904 Switzerland.
There were 2 brothers in Geneva who were building cars. One was a constructor while the other was racing driver. The engine had 8 cyl. with cylinders casted in pair and 12.76 liter (Bugatti!!) volume. They also tried to build for selling , but everything ceased to an end already 1907.
The early Panhard-Levassor had engine in front ,clutch
and open gearbox, also chain drive transmission, Motor was a Daimler V2.
A Panhard shared first place with Peugeot in competition Paris Rouen
1894. Same year they developed closed gearboxes.
Peugeot Vis a Vis Type 3 1894.
2 cyl 565 cc 2 ps 20 km/h
Type 3 was produced from 1891. This was the only model they had at that time. From 1894, another 5 model were added. The car on picture has an interesting front design. A cross over plate spring with rigid front beam, an advanced design at this time. Peugeot is one of the rare manufacturers that still is controlled by the initial owner (family, 2000). They started early to produce iron products, so different types as tools and corset spring. The firsts vehicles was steam driven. Those were abandoned before 1890 in favor for Daimler's V2 engines.
Sizaire-Naudin Biplace Course
1 cyl 1490 cc12 ps 79 km/h 1908.
This model had a 1 cyl. engine and won many races. Its individual front end design, gave it a big technical favor. It was manufactured 1905-1921 in different development steps. Sizaire was the constructor. He had the peculiarity that manufacturing was made on different sub firms. Because of this there was cars beside Naudin even Berwick and Freres. The car you see had wooden frame but was nevertheless popular for its simplicity and low price.
V12 9.4 l ca 1935
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Bugatti Type 57S
Cab. 3257c 175 hp 200 km/h 1938
It was on type 57 that Jean and Picette tried to mount a individual front 1932. It was stopped by Le Patron. It was equipped with the new engine with double overhead cams. Ettore hade been in America and from there he brought home Miller engines which he studied for his developments.Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio 1934
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Bentley 8 liter 1931
Mercedes Benz 540K Special Coupe
"Maharadjas delight". Front fenders have not
the right design to be a Special Roadster. Most likely a slight rebuild
cabriolet C with detachable top, for delivery to India. Wrong rims.
Compare picture 168-179 and 177 in the book Mighty Mercedes. No engine
therefore the high front. Rest unknown.
Mercedes Benz Biplace Sport 38/250 SS 1929
SS is the sign for Super Sport in the S-series that from the beginning was developed by Ferdinand Porsche. It was sold to be an image of the competition model. The expected customer were the sons of the rich. They wanted to race, but not in the big GP-races. Not yet could millions in income be darkened and put into historical cars at new year. Such a car can today be sold for up to 1 million Euro.
85 ps 145 km/h
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Alfa Romeo Roadster 8C 2.6
1933 180 ps 190 km/h. The model was built for elite customer. Body type was called Superleggera.
1936 220 ps 220 km/h. Mille Miglia 1936 Brivio won with this car. He had 14 min in lead when light was out, yet he succeeded to win with 32 sek.
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Standard Swallow Coach SSI
1934 6 cyl 2663 cc 68 ps 130 km/h.
SSI is the forerunner for Jaguar. It was William Lyons who managed the SS project. He moved to England and founded Jaguar Cars after WW2.
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you can yourself guess mark and year.
It was not so difficult, do you think?
More history about Bugatti.
See Dovaz Collection and Malmerspach collection.
Pictures from the following owners used in bjorns-story.se
the necessary authorization:
Reference 1: ©Björn Bellander bjorn.bellander(at)telia.com
Reference 2: ©Foundation Prestige Bugatti Paul Kestler
Reference 3: ©Auto-Salon-Singen www.auto-salon-singen.de
Reference 4: ©Sinsheim Auto Museum www.museum-sinsheim.de
Reference 5: ©Classiccar Collection www.carclassic.com
Reference 6: ©Mercedes Benz www.mercedesbenz.se
© Copyright Björn Bellander 2006-2013Back to museumlist