On this day in auto history - November 19th

Thu 19th Nov 2020

It was on this day in 1987 that a super-rare 1931 Bugatti 41 Royale was sold for £5.5 million at a Christies sale in London, setting a new record for the world’s most expensive car.

The eye-watering purchase - which, amazingly, came just a month after the famous Black Monday stock market crash - made headlines all around the world and has come to be seen as the deal which ushered in a new era of hyper-inflationary classic car investment. 

The buyer Nicholas Harley - a British vintage car dealer - justified the purchase price by saying: “I consider this to be the finest example of engineering and coachwork design in the world.”

Considered Ettore Bugatti’s masterpiece, the Bugatti Type 41 Royale was considered the most luxurious car ever built at the time but Bugatti's plan to sell them to royalty and the super-rich was scuppered by the 'great depression', meaning that only seven models were ever built.