cover 22 pages. Pictures up to date year 2000.
© Bjorn Bellander Created 2006
since060105 Update: 2018-02-07
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Bugatti entré. Ref. 1
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.
Beside the car is Jean l’Ebée Bugatti. Ref. 2
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
Factory parking place. Ref. 2Next Page 5 Former Last
Ettore had one younger brother Rembrandt who died 1916. Photo in Dorlisheim museum. Ref. 1
Ettore Bugatti 1881 – 1947
Ettore was born in Milano Italy. His father Carlo was an acknowledged sculptor
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
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
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.
How did the factory in Mohlsheim continue? The rail cars was ending, although they were used up to the 70:th. Surely with an another engine. Left was the subcontract with Hispano Suiza, who already 1956 controlled Bugatti Equipment. 1963 Hispano Suiza bought the company and they manufactured mainly landing gears for airplanes. The company was now named Messier-Bugatti. 1968 when the aircraft industry was taken over by the state of France, Hispano Suiza became a part or Snecma and was during the 70:th specialized on landing gears. Still under the name of Messier-Bugatti.
1991 an Italian, Romano Artioli, showed up with the idea about a super sport car EB 110. It would celebrate Ettore´s birthday. (80 cars were put together and 60 were sold. Among all buyers was Michael Schumacher who bought one. Bugatti firm tried to make big business and bought Lotus 1993 from General Motors. Everything in vain and the company was bankruptcy. Today Volkswagen owns the name Bugatti (carpart) and have made clear they will produce luxury cars in Mohlsheim. A prototype based on the EB 110 with 16 cyl engine is manufactured and can be seen at Autostadt museum Wolfsburg.
In this way the tradition of Ettore Bugatti´s spirit is left from Bugatti and Messier (developed hydraulic) to the world, with those values, everybody feels, in each way for the name Bugatti.
Family graveyard near Dorlisheim. Ref. 1
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.
It is a pity for the handsome Bugatti type 57 Stelvio Cabriolet from 1936. It is true that it has a good placement with the dry air in this little museum. Although it was raining outside. The car will never come out again in order to create the well known specific engine sound of a Bugatti engine and with the excellent nice body melting together with the beautiful surroundings around Dorlisheim. Museum has closed the garage gateway where it was brought in. The engine is dismantled of the car and can be seen on 2 photos. It is 3.3 liter single cam. This type was launched first time 1934 and could be delivered with 3 standard bodies. Stelvio, Ventoux (sedan) and Atalante. On special order one could order between 4 door Galibier or 2 door Atlantic Coupe (only 3 were built). Generally you could get anything only if you paid. It was for type 57 that Jean built the individual front end, but was refused to fulfill by his father. Of the 57, 905 ex. was built (different figures can be found).
It is Ettore and Jean you see on the photos and no one else. The diplomas are thanks from different Bugatti Clubs. Among them AHK Sweden.
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Our guide, the former president of "la Fondation Prestige Bugatti" Paul Kestler, was an older gentleman with little knowledge in English. We could not speak French so it became a little stuttering. One thing is quite clear, he gives his retired life to Bugatti and showed us proudly the family grave, the old production locals and the club premises.
Bugatti factory is situated within Messier-Bugatti manufacturing plant. To be allowed to come inside we were forced to leave our passports. Here they manufacture high-tech in the form of landing gears for both military and civil aircrafts. One of the bosses, the one in the fancy costume, went
ahead in front of us with our guide. We were unorganized half running after like a sheep crowd, that in same time tried
The upper photo anyway, is the old black smith, where the front beam was produced. Middle picture is the mounting locals. Today storage room. To the left behind the outdoor storage, you can see Patron´s horse barn. He was very interested in horse riding. Important people must sit high up when they talk to their labour. Bottom photo shows office and living house. The area is reserved to be saved, that's why the newly renovated face of the office. In addition it was on the spot to make it ready for use inside. This renovation was in the agreement with Volkswagen when they bought the right to the name of Bugatti. The production of the luxury car is going to be made in Molsheim. The customers are going to be tended to this place when they fetch the new 16 (12) cyl., 565 ps Bugatti. Then we went to the gateway guard, got our passports and felt very VIP as we were allowed to step inside such a secret area.
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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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You can easily say that Ettore was a wild constructor and in the first place he had wild ideas. Here is 3 head types of engines gathered. Upper you see the double Royale engine. consequently 16 cyl. 29 liter and 2 crankshafts. This engine was made to be used in airships, 1918. It was also manufactured on license in America at Dusenberg. The engine was then developed to be used 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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A submarine was planned. It was capable to sail between Brest and NewYork in 50 hours. Ref. 2
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 old model.
This was also a project in which Bugatti earned lots of money. He got a first order of 9 rail cars 1931-1932. 76 engine cars where built of different types between 1933-1938. (Car production became a joy for his son Jean). The first rail car got the name "le Presidentiel" with addition 800 CV. This meant 4 engines at 200 ps each. Study the engine installation! In a bend the inner rail wheel takes a shorter way. The lower installation must be the better one. The rail cars driver had his driving place on the roof. The driver was "standing" on the 4 engines. The train made its first tour on the 30th of July 1933. The national day of France, between Paris and Cherbourg in 3 hours and 8 min. Max speed was 160 km/h. France started early with speed trains and it is no wonder why they today, technically, are so far ahead. There is much interesting to get from the article with Bugattis rail cars. Sorry to say it is written in French and that is not my strong side. A mission for someone else with the necessary knowledge.
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Some pages with pictures from Bugatti museum.
Race car with 8 cyl engine produced in Schwitzerland. Ref. 1
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.
One early Panhard-Levassor. Ref. 1
Panhard-Levassor Pheaton Tonneaux 1894
2 cyl 565 cc 3.5 ps 20 km/h
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.
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Peugeot type 3 produced from 1891. Ref. 1
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.Menier Double Pheaton 1893
2 engines 2cyl in V. This model was equipped with a very odd system with separate pedals, which speed was controlled. 4 in all. Driver must be a clever one.
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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.Hispano-Suiza
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 Stelvio1934
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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.
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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