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Though some automakers will try, very few car names actually have any relevance to their passengers whatsoever. An X5? F12? QX 56? Sounds like a mutated gene we need to steer clear of. The Isuzu Aztec? Yeah, we’re pretty sure no Aztecs ever got behind the wheel of one of those. A Corolla? Venza? Miata? We don’t even know what that means. But the 1926 Bugatti Type 41 Royale actually was indeed built for royalty. King Alphonso XIII of Spain, to be precise (though in the four years it took to build the car, he’d already been disposed, but that is neither here nor there). After years of dominating the racing circuit in the early part of the 20th century, Ettore Bugatti decided to expand his automobile line to include luxury town carriages fit for a king. And the Royale was born. Completely built by hand, only 25 editions were planned to be built, and in actuality, only 6 ever were, as the Great Depression dampened the demand in the market quite a bit. The majestic cars were nearly 15 feet long, and sat on 24” wheels, and had an enormous engine. Weighing in at 750 lbs and displacing over 12 liters, the straight eight was a monster that put out 200 hp @ 1700-2000 rpm, making the Royale capable of a top speed of 100 mph. The 3-speed transmission transmitted power all the way back to the rear wheels through the flywheel underneath the passenger compartment, which was such a long way to travel that the brakes were built as drums integrated into the wheels, and were operated by cables stretching from the front and rear axles into the cabin.
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