First held in 1896 to celebrate the passing of the Locomotives on the Highway act that lifted the British speed limit from 4mph to 14mph, the London to Brighton rally is the oldest automobile event in England and possibly the world. Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the original event the 2016 run sees participants cover 60 miles from Hyde Park in the capital to Madeira Drive in Brighton, the even is only open to cars the VSCC (Vintage Car Club) has certified as built before 1905. Despite the entry requirements and sometimes dicey late autumn weather there are often more than 400 entries that take anything from three to nine hours to complete the route. Bonhams have offered a veteran car sale since 2004, and more recently become the official London to Brighton auction and while this has been the most boutique of the Bonhams sales, they have been relatively successful and offer a large amount of motoring memorabilia alongside the motorcars. While most of these cars have a limited amount of power and are often mechanically idiosyncratic offering an experience rather than a simple ownership, they do offer the ultimate in experience and authenticity.
Year – Sold/ Offered (%) – Gross Total US$ – High Sale US$
2017 $3,063,776 25/26 (96%) $428,229 1903 Panhard-Levassor Model B 10HP
2016 $1,537,594 10/14 (71%) $340,429 1904 Renault Type N-B
2015 $2,082,144 9/12 (75%) $637,980 1903 Clement AC4R
2014 $2,986,536 16/23 (69%) $622,806 1904 CGV 6.25L Type H1
2013 $2,927,118 13/14 (92%) $967,455 1903 Clement CT4K
2012 $2,576,026 14/14 (100%) $361,486 1904 Delaugere 24HP Tonneau
2011 $966,297 8/8 (100%) $250,433 1898 Fisson 8HP
2010 $1,452,952 11/11 (100%) $521,882 1903 Sunbeam 10HP Tonneau
2009 $968,340 9/10 (90%) $226,533 1901 Argyll 5HP Tonneau
2008 $1,319,522 12/15 (80%) $243,716 1902 Clement 9HP Tonneau 2007 $1,964,279 9/10 (90%) $358,278 1904 Talbot CT2K
Just 13 cars are on offer at the 2018 London to Brighton sale and six of them have enormous appeal. Firstly and primarily for a sale that is all about pre 1904 automobiles is a 1894 Peugeot Type 5 that is believed to have been used on the Paris-Rouen in 1894, the first proper motor race ever held. The actual connection to the five Paris-Rouen Peugeots is lost to history but the car has superb provenance and is of the exact type and is accepted at every event. Its impossible to value a car like this but I would note that it has just 5HP and will be an acquired taste. For what it is worth, the estimate seems more than reasonable at £300 – 400k ($383 – 511k) and this car would be an excellent fit for the finest collections, after all there was only one first race.
Another important car is the 1903 Darracq 24HP Model JJ Rear Entrance Tonneau estimated at £550 – 650k ($702 – 830k). One of two made, this example was delivered to Parisienne Mr Albert Arvengas who decided to follow the 1903 Paris-Madrid in it and kept large amounts of ephemera. Just two owners from new and ready for any use this large Darracq would be an excellent entry for any motoring event.
Further great cars include:
- 1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Tonneau – Est. £170 – 200k ($217 – 255k), A typical Panhard-Levassor in great condition. Relatively easy to use and ready for use on the London to Brighton. Perhaps a little expensive.
- 1902 Liberia-Dupont 12HP 2/4 seat Detached Tonneau – Est. £120 – 140k ($153 – 179k). One of two examples to exist, versatile coachwork, reasonably usable although will require further recommissioning before use. Priced correctly.
- 1901 Schaudel 10HP 4 seat Rear Entrance Tonneau – Est. £120 – 160k ($153 – 204k). Another very rare car, 1 of just 2 examples extant. Genuine and and relatively usable London to Brighton car. Priced about right.
- 1900 English Mechanic 3HP 2 seater – Est. £65 – 85k ($83 – 109k). The English Mechanic was a build it yourself car which only took 31 weeks to create. An interesting artifact and totally unique. Impossible to value but likely correct.
Key – Lot # – Year – Make – Model – VIN/ Chassis # – Low/ High estimate (GBP) – Low/High estimate (EURO) – Low/High estimate (US$) – N/R = No reserve
301 1904 Star 7HP 2 seater 1064 £80,000 £100,000 €90,400 €113,000 $102,152 $127,690 Blue over Blue. RHD. An example of Star’s final 7hp model, this car is powered by a 1.4-litre Panhard-type twin-cylinder engine. The accompanying history file contains a V5 registration document and a copy VCC dating certificate (No. 1130) issued on 7th February 1968, noting a B&B carburettor and a replica body and mudguards as major modifications. It also contains records of the following London-Brighton Veteran Car Run entries: 1988 – Mrs Edna Woollett 1989 – Mrs Edna Woollett (driver listed as B Hollamby) 1990 – Martin Sargeant 1991 – B R Hollamby 1992 – Barry Bowyer 1993 – Graham Hollamby It has been suggested that the vendor’s late uncle purchased the car in 1994, and that it possibly last took part in the LBVCR in 2001 while in his ownership. Kept in storage since then, the Star has recently been started and run.
302 1904 Cadillac Model A 6.5HP Tonneau 3987 £65,000 £75,000 € 73,450 € 84,750 $82,999 $95,768 Maroon over Black. RHD. Numbered ‘3987’, this outstanding early Cadillac was imported into the UK in 1991 by one D E Jackson and restored for its then owner by Nigel Parrott Veteran Engineering Ltd. Since 1992, this car has been a regular participant in the London-Brighton Run, and it has continued to participate following its acquisition by the current vendor in 2010. In 2003, ‘3987’ took part in the Centenary of Cadillac celebrations during which it was driven by Sir Stirling Moss (see photograph on file). Betty Hill, widow of twice Formula 1 World Champion Graham Hill, was a passenger for the 2004 London-Brighton Run, and in 2006 this Cadillac featured in the New York Times. It has an entry in the 2018 London-Brighton Veteran Car Run. Starting easily and running well, this capable American Veteran is offered with sundry restoration bills; a VCC Certificate of Date; and a V5C Registration Certificate.
303 1903 Rambler Model E 6.5 Runabout 2112 £45,000 £50,000 € 50,850 € 56,500 $57,461 $63,845 Red over Black leather. RHD. This quintessentially American Rambler is superbly presented in red livery with black lining and fenders and is upholstered in deep-buttoned black leather. It is equipped with brass accessories including kerosene front lamps and a bulb horn. The standard of restoration earned the Rambler a prestigious and coveted National First Prize at an AACA National Meeting. Overall condition today reflects meticulous conservation of all major features and the most careful use since restoration which included the fitting of a new radiator and transmission gears. A concession to running in busy modern traffic is the small cooling fan, carefully fitted using existing mountings. This most capable and surprisingly nimble veteran, offered from British ownership, again successfully completed the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run every year between 2007 & 2010. The car has been officially dated by the VCC and comes with a Dating Certificate and Report issued in 2015. It is UK registered and offered with a V5C document.
304 1903 De Dion Bouton 8HP 2 seat £40,000 £60,000 € 45,200 € 67,800 $51,076 $76,614 Red over Black. RHD. This 8hp single cylinder De Dion Bouton represents the very essence of the De Dion Bouton Populaire, and comes to sale after many decades in the Quattroruote collection. The preeminent motoring publication in Italy, Quattroruote and was founded by enthusiast and car collector Gianni Mazzocchi in 1956. He was later joined by Vincenzo Maranghi and together they developed the publication to the level it remains today. In 1961 Vincenzo Maranghi married journalist Anna Castellini Baldissera, and on file is a photo of the newlyweds driving this very car, showing that it would certainly have been part of the Quattroruote car collection by then, if not considerably earlier as Mazzocchi is known to have bought cars from the 1940s onwards. His collection would ultimately go on public display as the Quattroroute Collection and for this purpose the car was re-restored as a rolling chassis, most probably to demonstrate the modernity of the De Dion Bouton system. When that collection was dispersed publicly in 2016 the car was acquired by the present owners. It has been sympathetically refurbished with sporting bucket seat bodywork and refinished to a high standard in the current paint scheme. Noted experts of the marque have analysed the car closely, and based on its wheelbase measurement of 1180mm, 8hp engine and two speed transmission, it conforms to the specification of a Model R, which was catalogued by De Dion Bouton only in 1903. Interestingly, the format of the Model R frame with its length and rear transverse leaf spring, was designed for more commodious tonneau bodywork generally, something that a future owner may wish to pursue.
305 1902 Liberia-Dupont 12HP 2/4 seat Detached Tonneau 183 £120,000 £140,000 € 135,600 € 158,200 $153,228 $178,766 Terracotta over Red leather. RHD. At the Grand Palais in November 1901, Gustave proudly exhibited his wares, as depicted on these pages with an example of each of his models present. By June 1902, he would contest the Paris-Vienna as a driver for the first time. There as one of 138 entrants listed, a high attrition rate saw the field reduced to only 80 finishers, of which he was the 78th! But, it seems that Dupont’s sincere wish to build a car of quality and also to campaign in these races challenged his ability to make them commercially successful, and as quickly as his star had shone, it began to fade, first losing his mayoral title, and then Libéria being declared in bankruptcy in August 1902. Today, we believe that just two examples have survived of his brand, a single and a twin. The single reappeared from long term ownership to run the London to Brighton in 2012, and this twin cylinder car has recently emerged after decades in storage. Fortunately for us today, the extraordinarily well-preserved condition of this wonderful automobile provides us with great insight into the cars that he assembled. Dupont’s choice of coachwork for this car, proclaimed to have been built by Carrosserie L. Barjou is a versatile and beautifully sculpted tonneau, with curvature on almost all planes, multiple accent mouldings and the option of seating for four passengers, or alternatively two, each being snugly fit into bucket seats, for a more sporting configuration. When viewed closely at areas of paint loss, it appears that the rich terracotta hue may be a second livery for the car, but of that we cannot be sure. Certainly its upholstery, which is almost entirely intact has the appearance of being original throughout. The Dupont Libèria has responded well to light recommissioning and is running, but we would suggest the sensible precaution of a thorough mechanical recommissioning prior to road use. Sadly, the only aspect that alludes us today is its early history, but we do know that for the last 60 years or more, it has resided in just two ownerships, the last a private collection and the previous being the lesser known Museo dell’Automobile di San Martino in Rio, Italy. At some point it has been shod with solid tyres, rather than pneumatics which it would have had a new, most likely owing to a lack of availability of sourcing suitable spares at a particular juncture in its life. The rewarding task of returning the car to the road, as well as chronicling the maker and history of the car will remain an opportunity for its next custodian. While it should be noted that the car has not been officially dated by the Veteran Car Club and that application is necessary for annual use on the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the knowledge that Dupont appears to have ceased automobile production in 1902 would seem to make this process relatively straightforward. In general terms it is an incredibly charming ‘timewarp’ find which will no doubt garner attention wherever it goes.
306 1894 Peugeot Type 5 2 seater 164 £300,000 £400,000 € 339,000 € 452,000 $383,070 $510,760 Black over Black. N/A. The Type 5 “quadricycle à gazoline” had been specifically developed for the race: Peugeot achieved a 20 per cent weight saving in the design to give a better power-to-weight ratio over their standard production (Type 3) cars. Only 14 Type 5 cars were built. Paris-Rouen was where motor sport really began: held on Sunday 22nd July 1894, the trial was organised by the newspaper ‘Le Petit Journal’. Of the 102 entries, just 21 cars had passed the eliminating trials held during the previous week and were set off at 8am on a fine morning for the 79-mile journey.Seventeen cars reached Rouen, averaging between 6.1 and 11.6 miles per hour after taking into account compulsory stops, most notably for a protracted lunch! All five of the Peugeot team finished, and were the highest-placed petrol cars. Rigoulot finished 11th at an average speed of 9.1 mph. Peugeot was adjudged by the organising committee to have shared the first prize of 5,000 francs (£200) with Panhard-Levassor. Interestingly, one of the other drivers in the Paris-Rouen, a Monsieur Dubois of Chantilly who finished 10th in a Panhard, was so taken by the performance and design of Rigoulot’s Peugeot that he appears to have bought the car from the factory once it was released. This car retains its original rear-mounted 1,026cc (72x126mm) Daimler v-twin engine with hot-tube ignition, driving through a double cone clutch to a four-speeds-and-reverse ‘gearbox’. It has its original Peugeot spray carburettor, with the engine speed being controlled by a governor. The engine was made by Panhard-Levassor under licence from the German Daimler Company. According to Peugeot factory records, this car was commissioned on 25th June 1893. The Panhard-Levassor factory records confirm this 2½hp Daimler engine, number ‘257’, was delivered to Peugeot at Valentigney, Franche-Comte in eastern France on 20th December 1893, and was fitted to this chassis, number ‘164’. Believed built in 1894 and sold the following year, this car was originally bought by the aforesaid Monsieur Dubois. Extracts from both manufacturers’ factory records are in the history file. The seller is a long-time enthusiast, owner and studious researcher of early motors cars, and it is his opinion that while there is no concrete proof that this is Rigoulot’s Paris-Rouen car, it is of the identical type and that there is good circumstantial evidence to suggest it might be. For instance, it is not clear why Peugeot retained the car for such a long time when they had a long waiting list, and cars were almost always completed well within six months of them receiving engines. However, as it has been established that Panhard-Levassor commonly refused to sell cars that took part in races in this period until they were out of date the following year, it is more than likely Peugeot were doing the same. It is even possible, because of the commissioning date in mid-1893 and the delivery of the engine in December of that year, this car could have been completed in 1893. However, a more reasonable assumption would be that the car was most likely completed early in 1894. The full application for a Veteran Passport, which lasts for two years, has recently been completed and the VCC dating committee has put a year of circa 1895 on the car based on the date it left the factory – 16th November 1895 – when Monsieur Dubois took delivery. While this is the latest possible date for the car, application for a full dating certificate taking into account the 1893 Panhard and Peugeot records may result in an 1894 date. It is not known whether there were any other owners of the car after Monsieur Dubois and his family prior to WW2, but the car was undoubtedly kept safely in favourable conditions. This exceptionally original car was then fortunate to pass into the ownership of André Laporte just after WW2 and became the star of his collection. Laporte had been a pilot during the War and the youngest Lieutenant in the French Air Force, becoming an instructor notably to Polish pilots who had joined forces with their British allies. After the War he opened a General Motors dealership in Montpellier and started his collection of old (mainly Veteran and Edwardian) cars, the first of which was acquired in 1946 at his wife’s suggestion. Laporte was a very early collector of antique cars and would become President of the Fédération Française des Véhicules d’Époque (FFVE) in 1980 and later Vice President of the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA). His name will always be associated with the creation of the ‘Carte Grise de Collection’, the registration logbook which allows many old cars to legally run on French roads. This very early Peugeot was one of Laporte’s favourites and resided for nearly 50 years in Montpellier, Southern France in what became an important collection. André Laporte died in 1996 and this Peugeot was acquired by the vendor at the collection’s dispersal sale in October 1998. It was clearly evident at that sale that André Laporte was more interested in originality and conservation than actually using his collection, as the majority of cars were un-restored and ‘as found’ (including this Peugeot which had, however, been repainted). In the words of Jean-Michel Cerede, a noted historian, ‘he wanted to pay homage to the pioneers, engineers, and constructors who had made possible the evolution of the motorcar… without committing the sacrilege of putting his silent motors into working order’. The car arrived in the UK in late 1998, when it was decided to put it back on the road; it was complete, even down to the tiniest of details. When the mechanical restoration was undertaken, it was decided to do this in as sympathetic a way as possible with every effort made to conserve and preserve rather than replace. All the mechanical components are original, including the con-rods, pistons, and valves, together with gear shafts and gears (even the wooden fillets that were riveted between the webbing of the gears to reduce the sound of the straight-cut pinions are still in place). Interestingly, its car number 164 is stamped on every major component (chassis, gear-train, axles, steering, etc), as well as a multitude of smaller items like the fuel tap, reverse lever, linkages, cross shafts and wing brackets. Small leaks were repaired, and various ancillary parts were re-nickeled. New drive chains and a starter chain have been fitted. The only two items that have been remade are the water tank, which is under the seat, and the chain guards. The ‘Henry’ lubricator; the ‘Schauffer and Budenberg’ air pressure gauge; the original Peugeot ‘spray’ carburettor; and even the lamps are all lovely original items and remain with the car to this day. The Peugeot remains completely intact with all its original components and still running on hot-tube ignition. It retains its original body, flamboyant flowing wooden wings, some upholstery, and all instrumentation. Remarkably, the deer antler handles on the steering column, reverse grip handle, and handbrake are all still present and in wonderful condition. It received only a light restoration in early 1999 (with a photographic record) and was repainted again as part of that process. It has no modifications from as-new specification and is like a fine piece of moving furniture. One contemporary opinion from the Paris to Rouen in 1894 reports: ‘The Peugeots, which made a slightly better performance in the trials than did the Panhards, were totally different in construction. They were low built machines with hollow steel tubular frames, in which the cooling water circulated. The wheels were steel spoked and ran on ball-bearings. They used the Panhard-Levassor engine and clutch, but otherwise there was not much likeness between the two’. In relation to the steering, the Peugeots ‘did not appear to be so subject as the Panhard lever to jolts from every rut and stone in the road’. This is due to better weight distribution with the engine at the rear and less weight over the front axle. Therefore the steering is light, being chain operated, using the double handgrip steering column. The wheels have solid rubber tyres, as pneumatic tyres were not used on cars until André Michelin’s first attempts in 1895. The chassis forms part of the cooling system as there is no radiator, with the cooling water being pumped around inside the chassis tubes. As an extremely rare Paris-Rouen model, this car has been invited to the Louis Vuitton Concours in 2004, and has been an invited competitor at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 1999, 2003, 2004, and 2013. In 2013, the Peugeot was selected to lead the amazing 20-car Goodwood Festival of Speed 20-Year Parade up the hill. A Type 5 Peugeot was certainly one of the most capable and well designed cars of its day, and together with the Panhard-Levassors that used the same Daimler designed v-twin engine, did more than any other make to glamorise and popularise the motor car. They were the first car manufacturers to introduce series production and were quick off the mark to export their products. Peugeot were very much leaders at the forefront of the ‘Dawn of Motoring’, yet by the end of 1895 they had made only 173 cars, with Panhard having made 177. Following restoration, the car continued to be expertly maintained in-house in a climate-controlled, museum-style environment for the last 20 years. While not a legal requirement, the car has been MoT’d each year and the history file contains certificates covering the last 20 years. It was driven to the MoT station on 20th September 2018 for its annual check, performing faultlessly. The car also has a V5C registration document, a FIVA certificate, a Veteran Passport, and is road licensed. It comes with spare valves, springs, and specialist tools. Exercised most years on a variety of events both in the UK and in Europe, notably on ‘Hot-Tube’ where it has covered 95-100 kilometres per day, the car is still capable of 16mph. It was in remarkably good original condition when restored and has had an easy and cosseted life since! Nothing has been done to the car to modernise or improve it from the day it was made. Alongside Benz, Peugeot are one of very few brands to have perpetuated to the modern day, and those of this age are undoubtedly a leap forward in technology from the German competitor, making them extremely significant and important machines. They very rarely come to market and are seldom found outside of national museums or international collections. This year will be the first time the car has taken part in the London to Brighton Run. Carrying competitor number ‘2’, it offers the thrilling prospect of being there at the very start, which only a select few get to experience, that could be you at the helm!
307 1899 Star 3.5HP Vis-a-vis 4 £80,000 £100,000 € 90,400 € 113,000 $102,152 $127,690 Varnished wood over Burgundy leather. N/A. This early example carries vis-à-vis coachwork by Strouds of Nyphon Works , Wolverhampton, and is presented in its original, and then fashionable, varnished wood finish. The car is fitted with the Star patent carburettor and enjoys the great advantage of the Crypto gear, giving enhanced hill climbing ability and ease of manoeuvrability at slow speeds. The engine presently fitted is believed to be the original engine which has the name Star cast both in the cylinder block and engine bearers. A spare engine comes with car which has plain engine bearers. At one time the spare engine was fitted to AW 27 and thankfully both engines have been retained providing valuable spares and maintaining the history and integrity of the car. The spare engine is mounted on a wooden frame, is fitted with a Zenith Carburettor and turns freely. This car is widely recorded as car no.4 and in the 1960s the son of one of its earliest owners stated that his father William Woodleigh Wyatt bought the car second hand in 1902, taking three days to drive it from Wolverhampton to Whitchurch. Indeed records show that the car was registered AW 27 in the County of Salop under the Motor Car Act 1903 in the name of William Woodleigh Wyatt of The Firs, Whitchurch, on 16th December 1903. The Wyatt family were engineers and around that time also owned a 1900 6hp Daimler – registration no. AW 325 – which remained in their ownership until the 1980s. The Star also remained in the Wyatt family ownership for many years and was displayed at their engineering works in Whitchurch. A contemporary photograph on file shows a Thomas Gibbons of West Bromwich in a similar car which he bought new. Edward Lisle stands alongside. Further research by a new owner may link this photograph to AW 27, thus adding to its almost complete early history. In 1978 AW 27 was recorded in preservation in the ownership of Philip Thomas of Eccleston, St. Helens, and in 1986 was acquired by VCC stalwart Bob Taylor of Stourbridge, where it shared the motor house with his Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. He was to enter the car in numerous Brighton Runs and other events. AW 27 was acquired by the present owner in 1996 from dealer/collector the late Peter Harper and in 1998 the car with its new owner successfully completed the testing 180 miles Tour de Leman in Switzerland. Since then the car has been used only on local events not involving such great mileages. Although more recently the car has not seen active use, being part of a collection of significant veteran, Edwardian and later cars, it started readily on recent inspection. The vendor recommends the usual careful re-commissioning before active use. The car comes with an interesting history file including copies of extracts from contemporary motor magazines, further information from the Star, Starling, Stuart and Briton Register together with the all-important VCC Dating Certificate No.1745 issued in 1988 while the car was in Bob Taylor’s ownership. It comes with Swansea registration documentation, copy of 1978 log book and a copy of the 1903 Register of Motor cars showing this car registered in the County of Salop. The V5 document and copy registration document from 1978 incorrectly record chassis and engine no. 917 – we have not been able to ascertain any source or reason for that number. This wonderful Victorian, British, four-seater motor car enjoys the benefit of a particularly early start position on the grid for the prestigious Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
308 1901 Schaudel 10HP 4 seat Rear Entrance Tonneau 2 £120,000 £160,000 € 135,600 € 180,800 $153,228 $204,304 Red over Black. RHD. One of only two known surviving Schaudels (the other is believed to be in Holland), this ultra-rare French Veteran spent most of its life in the Musée Bonnal à Bègles in Bordeaux. From there, the Schaudel was supplied with ‘bare body’ to one Jean Barthé of Bordeaux, who sold the car to Colin Moon. Mr Moon then sold the car to John Brown of Newbury, who used it on VCC events until his death. The immediately preceding owner purchased the car, which was offered from Mr Brown’s estate, at Brooks’ Beaulieu Sale in July 1999 (Lot 414). Displayed at the ‘Yorkshire Car Collection’ from 1999 to 2017, the Schaudel has been used on VCC events with great success and has appeared on television in ‘The Forsyte Saga’, ‘Brass’, ‘The Bretts’, and ‘Lost Empires’). It has also taken part in 12 London-Brighton Runs, only failing to complete the course on one occasion, which necessitated an engine rebuild (in 2013). The gearbox was rebuilt with new bearings and gears at the same time. A 2017 test drive showed the Schaudel to be a spirited performer, with effective brakes and a delightful three-speed gearbox. Top speed is around 25mph. There are two plaques on the car: ‘Société Anonyme des Automobiles Schaudel, Bordeaux’, and ‘Carrosserie Edmond Leffroy, 80 Boulevard Malesherbes, 8è, Paris’. The body is finished in Bordeaux, with gold pin-striping, gold bonnet flutes, and black wings, while the wheels are black with Burgundy pinstripes. The interior is upholstered in black leather, the seats featuring pleated backs, and the car comes equipped with Ducellier front lamps. In the interests of safety and convenience, an accelerator pedal, starter motor, and additional brakes have been fitted. The current vendor purchased the Schaudel at Bonhams’ London-Brighton Sale in November 2017 (Lot 223), since when he has spent some £33,000 getting it working correctly (bills on file). These extensive works included a full engine and gearbox rebuild; new wheels by Douglas Andrews; rebuilt water pump; new leather drive wheels; new bronze steering bushes; carburettor overhaul; fixing fuel tank leaks; new half-shafts, etc. The Schaudel is now truly ready for the road having been fettled by one of the best in the business: NP Veteran Engineering Ltd (Nigel Parrot). Unfortunately, at 6′ 6″ in height, the vendor cannot enjoy driving the car, hence its sale. Accompanying documentation consists of a copy of the ‘International Register of Surviving Motoblocs & Schaudels’; copy technical literature; numerous expired MoTs; Science Museum Dating Certificate; bills for restoration; VCC Dating Certificate; an old-style French logbook; and a V5C Registration Certificate. An opportunity to purchase an exceptionally rare, comfortable, four-seater, twin-cylinder motor car – benefiting from much recent work and expenditure – and with the added advantage of an early London-Brighton start number.
309 1900 English Mechanic 3HP 2 seater £65,000 £85,000 € 73,450 € 96,050 $82,999 $108,537 Red over Black leather. RHD. And so it went on for thirty-one weeks, the specification subtly changing as, presumably, the author updated his design as he himself built a car and discovered the practical flaws. Finally, at the beginning of August, provided that you had kept pace with the weekly instructions, you had a chassis complete and running and were just starting to build the body along the lines suggested by the author, who now partly revealed himself as “T.H.W. (care of Mr D.J.Smith, Great Arthur Street, Goswell Road, London)” He was, in fact, a 29-year-old engineer named Thomas Hyler White, and the address he gave was that of the engineering company that supplied castings for the home-build motor car for those unadventurous (or sensible) enough not to attempt to build an iron foundry in their back garden. A man in indifferent health – he suffered from consumption – Hyler White had nevertheless been a pioneer of the motor industry, having worked for the Daimler Motor Company in Coventry in 1896-98 and had taken part in the 1896 Emancipation Day Run. The 1900 “English Mechanic” design was neither his first design for a home-build motor vehicle – he had published instructions on building a petrol tricycle in the English Mechanic in 1899- nor his last, for he would continue to produce articles on the building of steam and petrol vehicles of varying degrees of viability until 1913, when he outlined a home-build cyclecar in the magazine. He died in 1920, aged only 48. Amazingly, several “English Mechanic” cars were built, and several survive, this being the earliest known example, though for many years nobody was quite sure what it was. It first came to light in 1921 when the redoubtable C.A. “Bath Road” Smith, ex-record-breaking cyclist and landlord of the “White Lion” at Cobham in Surrey, came across a curious veteran in a field in Kent. The little car had been lying there so long that a tree had grown through the back end of its chassis and had to be chopped down before the car could be moved… Because Smith’s discovery had a single-cylinder engine under a lid in its tail and two-speed belt drive, he thought it might be a Benz, so that is what it was called when it first too part in the Brighton Run in 1928, when it was driven by E.G. Blake of the Fair Green Engineering Works of Mitcham. Dating was a black art in those days, with one man’s guess as good as another’s, so a date of 1897 was plucked from the air. While most of the 34 veterans entered in that year’s run managed to reach the finish at Brighton, the “1897 Benz” was one of the four cars that fell by the wayside. It did much better in 1929, when The Autocar recorded that it arrived at Brighton at ten minutes past one “under the gradually increasing rain” It arrived safely in 1930, too, at the creditable – amazing, even – average of just over 16 mph (Hyler White had designed the car for a top speed of 14 mph!). After missing the 1931 Run, the so-called Benz ran again in 1932, driven by H.J.F. Parsons, who had previously taken part with a 1900 De Dion, but its elaborate water pump packed up near Reigate and the car retired in a cloud of steam. Parsons decided that his veteran probably wasn’t a Benz, for there now were sufficient cars of that make around for comparisons to be made, so when it was entered for the 1933 Run, it had become an 1897 “Hurtu” on the basis that the unfortunately-named French make had built copies of the Benz in the late 1890s, but nobody was quite sure what one looked like… That seemed good enough reason at the time, and so the car continued to be entered as an “1897 Hurtu” by successive various owners until well after the war. Then a car that was quite definitely a Hurtu of similar vintage was unearthed, and the pundits had to guess again. It was probably a well-known Veteran Car Club member from Essex named Reg Taverner who solved the puzzle and identified the mystery car that he had acquired in the 1950s as an “English Mechanic” built from those 1900 part-work instructions. At the end of the 1950s Reg who sold the English Mechanic to well-known VCC member and the son of a horse trader Louis Holland. It is said that in typical fashion after hours of haggling, they agreed a deal at 1.00 am, on condition that Reg – who lived in mid-Essex – could deliver the car to the Holland homestead near the Crystal Palace before daybreak! Though Louis Holland didn’t keep the English Mechanic long, he did give it a thorough restoration and replaced its 1920s registration with the more appropriate “A-166”; in those less greedy days, the old London County Council would happily issue the few early “A” registrations remaining unissued against a payment of £5. In November 1959 Louis Holland drove the English Mechanic in its first Brighton Run under its own name. In the mid-1960s the English Mechanic was acquired by George Dorrington, the father of the current owner, who would continue to drive it down to Brighton every November. A chance meeting during the 1972 Brighton Run threw further light on the history of the English Mechanic when George halted at a garage in Redhill, where he met an 85-year-old gentleman named Mortlock, who had been a boyhood friend of Thomas Hyler White. “We built our own bicycles before the turn of the century,” he recalled.” Hyler-White then built a steam engine for his bicycle. Around 1898 he became an engineer with Smiths of Carshalton in Surrey, who specialised in making water pumps.” And still had time to write articles on making motor cars and musical instruments for The English Mechanic… The car was dated by the Veteran Car Club some years ago and in more recent times, within the last year or so it has benefited from an engine rebuild. A fascinating and uniquely British automobile, after more than 50 years within this family ownership, the remarkable “English Mechanic” automobile comes to market for the first time publicly.
310 1904 Renault 9HP Type T Rear Entrance Tonneau 3107 £70,000 £90,000 € 79,100 € 101,700 $89,383 $114,921 Blue over Black. RHD. Chassis number ‘3107’ was acquired in 1959 by Arthur Cook and remained in his family’s ownership until 2012 when it was purchased by the current vendor. Reputedly, Mr Cook’s daughter found the Renault while playing in a hay barn in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire. The car was fitted with a Ford Model T front axle at that time. Its prior ownership history is not known. Renowned marque specialist H F Welham of Surbiton commenced the restoration (there are bills on file detailing the works) and applied for VCC dating. Subsequently, the Renault was inherited by Mr Cook’s daughter and son-in-law, who entrusted Briardale Workshops of Malton with completing the restoration, which included sourcing a correct front axle from France. Bills on file total circa £36,000. The body is an exact replica of that on Renault’s own Type T, the chassis of which is just one number away from this car’s. A modern ignition coil is fitted in place of the original trembler set-up, and the car currently has a 1904 Humber gearbox. There is a rebuilt 1904 Renault gearbox (with brackets) included in the sale, ready to fit. Following its restoration, the Renault successfully completed the London-Brighton Veteran Car Run in 1998 and 1999. Since purchasing the Renault in 2012, the current vendor has installed a Dynastart for convenience, and on a recent visit the car started instantly. It is currently fitted with a pre-1904 Humber gearbox, whose ratios suit it perfectly, while the correct type of Renault gearbox – completely rebuilt – is included in the sale. The VCC’s previous dating committee had agreed the date of manufacture as 1904 and a certificate number 2426 was provisionally granted subject to fitment of the correct gearbox. This was never completed and as such to obtain a dating certificate the Renault gearbox will have to be installed and submitted for full dating. Bills for the gearbox rebuild may be found within the substantial history file, which also contains expired MoTs (1998-2003), Renault dating letter, copy factory build record, Science Museum dating letter, etc. Ready to use, this delightful smaller Renault is well catered for by both the Veteran Car Club and the Renault Frères and, of course, should be eligible for the London-Brighton Run once fitted with the correct gearbox.
311 1903 Darracq 24HP Model JJ Rear Entrance Tonneau 4294 £550,000 £650,000 € 621,500 € 734,500 $702,295 $829,985 Dark Green over Red leather. RHD. This 1903, 24hp Darracq – one of only two known – was delivered new to Mr Albert Arvengas (born 10.02.1858) of Paris in 1903 or late 1902. In May 1903, Mr Arvengas took the car as a ‘Touriste’, accompanying the infamous Paris-Madrid ‘race to death’. Although the race was halted at Bordeaux because there had been so many fatal accidents, including the death of Marcel Renault, the postcards confirm that, among others, Arvengas went on to Madrid in his Darracq. Until its recent acquisition by the vendor, the Arvengas family retained the oval wooden plaque, white with blue border and lettering, confirming this car as number ’41’ of ‘Les Touristes’. The vendor also obtained from the family various entrants’ instructions, such as where to find the naphtha gasoline collection points; the three-page folding route card; Arvengas’s driving licence; and an album of illustrated postcards sent daily by Albert Arvengas from each town he passed through or at which he stayed. Other Paris-Madrid memorabilia and original fittings include the original Megevet Genève radiator cap; two leather helmets, two pairs of goggles, and two collapsible water buckets taken on the race; fitted Darracq basket-type side panniers with brass fittings; tyre pump and jack taken on the race; a 1903 bound copy of ‘Le Chauffeur’ with entry from Monsieur Arvengas; and a large bound volume of ‘Dépêche 1903’ detailing the progress of the race. A modern overall breathable cover comes with the car also. The Darracq was first re-commissioned by a French enthusiast, who purchased it from the Arvengas family in the 1970s. After various owners and rallies, it was decided that the car was worthy of a full restoration, which was finished in time for the 1995 London to Brighton Run. Work included all new gears and bearings; full engine rebuild; radiator re-core; replacement of various bearings, pins, linkages etc; body repair; rebuild of wheels (875×105); and a full repaint – in fact, any work considered necessary, all professionally carried out. We are advised that bills relating to the restoration are available from a separate source. The engine is a four-cylinder of 112mm bore and 120mm stroke, giving a capacity of 4,729cc, and there is the normal Darracq three-forward-speeds-plus-reverse gearbox. Top gear gives something approaching 50mph, while a fair average speed is 30mph. It simply romps up hills. The radiator, although made by the usual Darracq suppliers, is not that originally fitted to this car. Literature of 1903 says that the cooling system was inadequate and evidently that is why the radiator was changed very early on in the car’s life, believed 1906. The present bonnet must have been professionally made at the same time, as it uses very early fittings and includes the usual Darracq lift-up vent together with side panels with vented opening doors. The original bonnet, proving the original radiator’s shape, was acquired from the Arvengas family. This carries the original paintwork, and the condition suggests it was used for a very short period only. Evidently, the water-pressurised lubricator was not always trustworthy, and while water connections still exist, the lubricator has been altered so that it is pressurised by the exhaust. Made of soft alloy, the corroded original carburettor was beyond repair; a Zenith is now fitted. The car still carries its original rear-entrance tonneau body with five seats (one on the door) and fittings for a Surrey top and windscreen. The Darracq is not very large, but with its engine size, its performance, and its confirmed provenance, is an important car and certainly one of the most imposing on the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
312 1904 Wolseley 6HP 2 seater Voiturette 8369 £75,000 £80,000 € 84,750 € 90,400 $95,768 $102,152 Black over Black. RHD. This 6hp Wolseley was first registered to Reginald Falshaw of Weeton, Harrogate in June 1905. Mr Falshaw is shown in the 1901 census as an electrical engineer, and the car was entered in the records as a trade vehicle. After three years it went to E Sturdy, Clerk of Works at Harewood House, who last taxed it for the road in 1923. In 1946, the car re-emerged at a Leeds garage, which was then absorbed by Jaguar dealers, Appleyards. The latter was owned by Peter Appleyard of XK120 Coupe des Alpes fame, who kept the Wolseley as a ‘workshop pet’. ‘AJ 334′ was also a regular at many Yorkshire traction engine rallies and veteran and vintage car events throughout the 1950s 60s and 70s, always being driven to and from such events by Appleyards’ manager John Cassere until accidentally suffering frost damage. The car then went to VCC member Michael Sapsford, who carried out repairs before moving it on to fellow VCC members Roy Middleton and John Zimbler, from whom the current vendor bought it in 1991. During that time the Wolseley completed the London-Brighton run several times. The vendor’s tenure has mainly involved VSCC events. Mechanically the car is described as in good condition throughout. The old frost-damaged alloy cylinder block was replaced in 2012 with a new casting to accept the original moving parts (the original block is included with the car). ‘AJ 334’ is fitted with Bowden-patent controls and has electric lights and indicators fitted for safety reasons but nevertheless easily removed. The car has appeared regularly in VSCC competitive events including against-the-clock driving tests where it excelled by virtue of brisk performance and agility, and has numerous class awards to its name. It has also participated in VSCC Light Car Section tours and navigation rallies, and has a 100% finishing record. ‘AJ 334’ took part in the Brooklands Double 12 meetings of 2013 and 2016, which involve the combination of driving tests and a concours. It won the latter in 2013 (Vauxhall’s Prince Henry being runner up!) and in 2016 was runner up to an aero-engined Berliet special. On both occasions it was runner up in the driving tests – the vendor notes that the Brooklands test hill takes a long time to climb even with passenger assist! The private vendor advises us that the car is running well and reliably; indeed, he is confident enough to set out in it unaccompanied and unworried whatever the destination. Accompanying documentation includes a file relating to the engine rebuild, a VCC dating certificate plus the original 1921 logbook showing the date of manufacture as 1904, long before that date had any significance.
314 1902 Panhard-Levassor Type A Tonneau 3155 £170,000 £200,000 € 192,100 € 226,000 $217,073 $255,380 Pinky Beige over Black leather. RHD. This early Panhard-Levassor Type A Tonneau is powered by a twin-cylinder engine rated at 7hp. The accompanying old-style buff logbook (issued 1956) records the date of first registration in the UK as 10th October 1910 and lists only one owner: Stanley Markwell Miles of Melton Mowbray (from February 1951). In the early 1960s, the Panhard was shipped to the USA, and in April 1973 was purchased by a Mr David Armstrong of Richmond, Virginia. The 1973 sales receipt and US title are on file, and the car also comes with a V5C document and VCC Vehicle Identification and Eligibility Certificate. The current vendor purchased the car in 2011. Magneto ignition and an electric starter are the only notified deviations from factory specification.
All information is copyright Auto Auctions Monthly except images which are copyright of Artcurial, Bonhams, Gooding & co., Mecum, RM/ Sothebys, Russo & Steele and Worldwide Auctioneers. All figures are US$ and gross unless specifically stated. All figures are accurate in the home currency for the sale, any figures in other currencies are calculated based on the exchange rate for the date of sale accessed from FxTop.com. Percentages as given are calculated as the % below low estimate or above estimate as noted. All information given for recreational use only and cannot be personally guaranteed for accuracy by the author.