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Georges Richard


In 1893, brothers George and Max Richard started a small bicycle factory.  Two years later, they built their first car there.  Initially, only prototypes were produced, with both petrol and electric engines.  It was not until 1899 that they introduced their first production car.  Although the model had the appearance of a Benz, it was in fact a Belgian Vivinus built under licence.  In 1900, a second model appeared, the Poney.  In the first year, 423 of these cars were sold.  The Poney was powered by chains to the rear wheels.  From 1901 onwards, a George Richard was also available with a cardan shaft.  In 1902, Richard hired the famous designer Henri Brassier.

Subsequent models were then sold under the name Richard-Brassier.  The cars were larger than Richard's Voiturettes and were powered by two or four-cylinder engines.  In 1905, Georges Richard left the company.  He went on to establish the Unic make, while the Richard-Brassiers continued to be sold under the name Brassier.

Source: The complete encyclopedia of Vintage Cars - Rob de la Rive Box


Like so many who entered the motorcar industry in the 1890s both in Europe and America the brothers Georges and Max Richard were cycle makers. They used a four-leaf clover as a trademark, and this continued on the cars, the first of which appeared in 1897 and was an exact copy of the Benz velo. Larger two-cylinder horizontal-engined cars with the motor at the front were made in 1899, and the Vivinus voiturette was produced under license.

In 1901 Automobiles Georges Richard obtained the services of the designer Henri Brasier from Mors. He introduced 'state of the art' motorcars to the range and in 1902 his name was added to the company's products. Richard-Brasier cars achieved lasting fame by winning the world's premier motor race of the period: the Gordon Bennett competition, in 1904, and again in 1905.

The founders left their business in 1904 to establish the Unic marque that became famous for its taxicabs and survived until 1939. The original firm, with various name changes and a number of reorganisations, made motorcars until 1930.

The complete encyclopedia of Vintage Cars - Rob de la Rive Box


Source: Society of Automotive Historians in Britain

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