c.1903 Georges Richard (Anonyme)
Reg. no. BS 8083
Chassis no. 490
Engine no. 359
The Richard Company was founded in Paris in about 1850 making photographic and optical equipment and then, like so many early pioneer car firms, moved onto making bicycles. The two brothers Georges and Max offered a Benz like car in 1897 which was joined by a small car based on the Belgian Vivinus. In 1901 Henri Brasier joined the company from Mors and it was under his regime the Georges Richard Company started making larger cars along Panhard lines with two or four-cylinder engines ranging from 10 to 40 hp. After 1905 the firm changed its name to Brasier and Georges Richard left the firm to set up his own company under the brand name Unic.
The car offered for sale is an attractive and powerful veteran. It has a 2.3 litre (16.4 hp) twin cylinder engine coupled to a 3-speed and reverse gearbox. With a full four seat double phaeton body finished in red, which the owner describes as good but with some patina, and black button upholstery it can easily carry adults to Brighton in comfort, ascending Redhill, Clayton and Pyecombe hills without assistance, which is always a bonus.
The current owner acquired the car in 1993 and entered every London to Brighton until 1999. The car completed all but one run which was halted due to a broken half shaft.
Sharp eyed readers will notice the heading for a maker of the vehicle. Whilst it was in Germany the car was dated by a German club as a 1902 Georges Richard and indeed that is recorded on the V5. The car was presented to the VCC dating Committee in 1994 whilst under the Chairmanship of the late Malcolm Jeal, the ex-editor of The Automobile Magazine and respected motor historian. Despite extensive research they were unable to categorically say the chassis was Georges Richard or that the engine was the original. They were however of the opinion that all the parts were of the correct period and the main components were an entity from an unknown maker and issued a Certificate of Eligibility, a copy of which is in the file. This Certificate enables the car to be entered not only for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, but also for VCC events including the ever popular Single and Twins Rallies.
The car was subject to some work in the 1990s. Some was carried out in the vendors professional workshop whilst the more specialist work such as white metalling and some machining was carried out by sub-contractors. This work included rebuilding the axles and gearbox and a new flywheel being manufactured. The car has been in storage since 2001 and will require careful re-commissioning. The leather cone clutch is currently stuck but we understand that with applications of neatsfoot oil should come free fairly easily. The only concessions to modern motoring are the fitting of electric lights as a safety precaution, and the fitting of modern ignition coils.
Included in the sale are the Certificate of Eligibility, a German passport dated 1988, a V5C, dating correspondence between the vendor and the VCC dating Committee, sundry bills and old MOT certificates, literature and photographs showing BS 8083 on the London to Brighton Run, four brass lamps, stick basket, wheel spanner and front and rear tonneau covers, the front doubling as a knee warmer for those ever so wet events in November.
Extra details and estimates:
£40,000 - 60,000
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