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Lot 099: Salmson GS8

Classic Car, Motorcycle & Automobilia, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (24 June 2009)

Representing state-of-the-art Grand Prix engineering in its day, the vintage Salmson was always the fastest and arguably the most successful event-winning French light car of the period  a good one is certainly a match in terms of performance for a Brescia Bugatti. This particular car is said to be the first production Model GS8 of 128 cars produced, 66 of which came to the UK. It was sold new by concessionnaire George Newman in December 1927 to a WG Battersby of Glasgow. Battersby kept the car for two years, competing at Brooklands in two high speed reliability trials, gaining gold in the MCC event on 6th July 1929.

The car was then acquired by George Harvey Noble and extensively campaigned by him over the next four years, taking part in many JCC, BARC and BRDC events at Brooklands as well as racing at Lewes and Brighton. The pre-war racing history of the car is well documented in 'The Salmson Register 1921-1930' by Donald Hill. In 1933 the car was sold via Jack Bartlett and subsequently campaigned by Vic Derrington and A Greenhalgh, amongst others, while later Salmson men who owned GD 8907 include Ian Maxwell and A Nahum. The car was acquired by the current vendor in 1982.

After a protracted rebuild and development period lasting some 10 years, the Salmson has been used extensively and very successfully, holding the Vintage Class Record at VSCC Wiscombe for a period and competing and winning at Prescott and Oulton Park as well as in trials and driving tests and touring extensively on the Continent. It is currently fitted with a fabric pointed-tail 2-seat body, very similar in outline to the original coachwork, but with cycle-type wings as worn c1932, and two racing aero screens.

The fully balanced twin-cam four-cylinder engine of 1087cc has a two-bearing crankshaft, high compression pistons, fully adjustable camshaft timing and twin carburettors. The clutch has been upgraded and the very desirable four-speed gearbox has been rebuilt and is included with the car; a three-speed unit is currently fitted. Axle ratios can be easily changed  at present a 561 trials axle is fitted, but a 4.2:1 c.w.p. ready assembled in torque tube/propshaft is supplied for road use.

The car has benefitted from its long and progressive development and is now very strong and reliable with an exceptional recent history in VSCC events to show for it. Spares with the Salmson include a block and pistons, unmachined cylinder head and a mass of other parts including brake drums, steering boxes, cam followers and more.

This is an important car with a significant pre-war Brooklands racing history, now prepared to a high standard to compete successfully in current VSCC events.

Lot Details
Auction Classic Car, Motorcycle & Automobilia
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster
TypeCar
Lot Number099
Estimate£43000-£47000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1927
Condition rating0
Registration numberGD 8907
Mileage-
Chassis number21001
Engine number20352
Engine capacity (cc)1086
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors