The 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Coupé Superprofilée is a stunning motor car, the 46 was the “Baby Royale”, or the slightly smaller luxury car offered by Bugatti in the spirit of the Royale.
The Type 46 was fitted with a 140hp, 5.3 litre straight-8 engine that rather interestingly used a monolithic head and engine block (it was cast as a single unit). The SOHC engine had 3 valves per cylinder (2 in, 1 out) and were fitted with Smith-Bariquand carburettors. The 46 had a 3 speed transmission and was rather more spritely than many motor journalists in the era expected, this was largely due to the long-stroke design of the engine which gave the Coupé Superprofilée impressive torque in the lower RPM range.
The Bugatti Type 46 Coupé Superprofilée was officially released at the all-important Paris and London motor shows in 1929, it was very positively received by the international motoring press – a group that had not been 100% receptive to the much larger and significantly less practical but beautiful all the same Bugatti Royale.
With a wheelbase of 3.5 metres the Superprofilée wasn’t exactly a light-weight, the car used a steel ladder-chassis and implemented the same cable-operated brakes that Bugatti was famous for. His distaste for hydraulics was never really explained and so many of his otherwise very advanced cars still used relatively primitive cable systems to actuate the brake shoes.
This period in the history of Bugatti is notable as it saw Ettore Bugatti’s son, Jean, rise to prominence as a well-known car designer in his own right. The stunning, aerodynamic coupés he designed featured beautifully raked windscreens and notchback (Semi-Profilée) or ‘hunchback’ (Superprofilée) back ends.
This car is one of the rare Type 46 Coupé Superprofilées by Jean Bugatti and is thought to be one of the last examples of the model still roadworthy.
If you’d like to add this beautiful Type 46 to your collection, you’ll need to register with RM Auctions for their Villa Erba Auction set to be held on the 25th of May 2013. There’s no estimated price listed, so just arrive with all the money you have.
Visit RM Auctions here.
Photo Credits: Darin Schnabel ©2012 Courtesy of RM Auctions