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Lot 669: 1907 Darracq 20-28hp Tourer
Coachwork by B & J Davies Ltd

Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles, Bonhams (3 December 2007)

After two false starts that saw him abandon electric carriage manufacture and then attempt unsuccessfully to sell the built-under-licence L�on Boll�e voiturette, Alexandre Darracq launched his first successful internal combustion-engined automobile in 1900. That first 6.5hp single-cylinder voiturette was followed by a range of twins and fours, and the marque soon established a reputation for sporting prowess, setting a new world speed record of 109.65mph in 1905 and winning the 1905 and 1906 Vanderbilt Cup races. Introduced in 1904, an advanced feature of early Darracqs was a chassis frame pressed out of a single piece of steel. A 5.7-litre six joined Darracq�s line-up for 1907, while at either end of the range were 1,100cc single-cylinder and 11.5-litre �Vanderbilt Cup� models. 1909 was the final year of the single-cylinder Darracq and the twins went in 1910, co-incidentally the year when Darracq abandoned its traditional column gearchange in favour of the more modern gate change.
Dating from 1907, this right-hand drive Darracq 20-28hp tourer is powered by a 4.7 four-cylinder engine driving via a four-speed transmission and shaft drive. The first date of registration recorded in the accompanying old-style logbook (issued 1925) is 3rd February 1921, this being shortly after the introduction of the Roads Act of 1920, which required local councils to register all vehicles at the time of licensing and to allocate a separate number to each. (Many vehicles, although in existence for several years in some cases, were only registered for the first time after the Act�s passing). The Darracq is recorded as a �Private Lorry� (presumed converted) and the owner (in January 1925) as the Rt Hon Lord Swansea, while the first change of ownership is dated 28th April 1928 when Henry Thomas Price, of Builth Wells acquired the vehicle.
The vendor first became acquainted with the Darracq in 1957 when he spotted it half hidden in a ditch near Builth and was able to purchase it from the third owner, Mr Thomas George Vaughan, who was employed as a forester by Lord Swansea, the original owner. Removed to the vendor�s home, the Darracq started on the second turn of the starting handle! The vendor owned a coachbuilding business and his company constructed the replica body to the exact specification - even down to the timber frame�s joints - of the two-seat tourer version. Fifty years in the current owner�s care, this charming French Edwardian is offered with VCC Dating Certificate, (copy) 1907 Darracq advertisement and the aforementioned old-style logbook.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
Lot Number669
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£24000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£27600
Condition rating0
Registration numberCY 328
Chassis number2245
Engine number5669
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors