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Lot 360: Darracq 6 1/2 2-Seater

Collectors' Motor Cars, Bonhams (30 April 2012)

French engineer Alexandre Darracq established the Gladiator Cycle Co. in 1891, developed it over a five year period and sold out in 1896. He retained his interests in the bicycle industry, shrewdly moving to components manufacture, but was intrigued by the new-fangled horseless carriages. The first successful car built by Société A Darracq at Suresnes was a horizontal-engined car to the design of Leon Bollée which appeared in 1898. Darracq found this machine to be inefficient and built a car to his own design which appeared in 1900. This was a vertical-engined, single-cylinder voiturette of 6 1/2hp with a tubular steel chassis and shaft drive, a very advanced feature in its day. This car has been in the present family ownership since 2006 but has been well known within veteran car circles in the U.K. since its importation in a dismantled state from France in the late 1960s. It is powered by a Perfecta single cylinder 6 1/2hp engine with 100mm x 100mm bore and stroke, displacing 785cc. Drive is transmitted through a three-speed gearbox with shaft drive to the rear axle which is of a later type. The car carries VCC Dating Plate for Certificate No.1498 and is equipped with King of the Road oil side lamps and an Oldfield Dependance rear lamp and a brass bulb horn. The coachwork, well constructed in later years in period style, is attractively liveried in Oxford and Cambridge Blue with red leather upholstery. This car took part in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in 1980 – then registered as EL 234 – since when it has completed many more runs in the hands of the previous and present ownership. In the present family ownership since 2006 it has taken part in VCC events in the U.K. and Ireland. The VCC Dating Certificate No.1498, issued in June 1994 and signed by Malcolm Jeal as Chairman of the Dating Committee, mentions that the car is fitted with a later engine of the correct type. Eminently eligible for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, this car comes with a good history file including a most useful photocopy of The Darracq and its Management by Archibald Ford. It comes also with receipts for restoration which include new piston rings fitted in 2010 and a photograph album recording construction of the coachwork. This attractive Darracq is offered with VCC Dating Certificate No.1498 and a Swansea V5C registration document.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars
Bonhams, The Royal Airforce Museum, London, UK
Lot Number360
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberKV 3769
Chassis number1596
Engine number1753
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors