Registration number "M1", currently held on retention,
This lot is being sold on behalf of the National Trust and Cheshire County Council. The proceeds of sale will be used exclusively to fund the continued preservation and conservation of Tatton Park, Cheshire.
Provenance: The Honourable Alan Egerton and his son Maurice of Tatton Park, Cheshire, were both motoring enthusiasts and between them owned a number of fabulous cars from 1901 and until Maurice's death in 1958 when Tatton Park was left to the National Trust. On one occasion , while MP for Knutsford, Alan was reported to be "spinning along" in a motor car on Constituency business in 1901. This was probably in the 1900 Benz Vis-a-Vis now holding Dating Certificate 989 and still housed at Tatton Park. The original registration plate "M 1"will remain on view with the Benz.
Maurice secured the first Cheshire registration number "M 1" in December 1903 for his Darracq which he described as "My 12/16hp 2cyl Darracq driven and won by Henri Farman". It can be presumed that Maurice had only recently bought the car in which Farman had come second to his brother Maurice in the Grand Prix de Pau on the 17th February 1901, and first of his voiturette class in the Nice-Salon-Nice race of the 25th March, before he moved on to drive Mors and Panhard.
On 21st March 1904 the registration number was moved to a 60hp, 20 cwt dark green Panhard, described by Autocar magazine of the same year as "Mr Maurice Egerton has just purchased from the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate the famous 90hp Panhard et Levassor car on which Mr Weigel broke the flying kilometre record last June. The car is now fitted with a Rothschild body and is a most luxurious touring vehicle".
Maurice took the Panhard to the 1904 Gordon Bennett which was held on the 17th June 1904 at Homberg and in September of the same year the car appeared in racing trim on the Velvet Strand of Portmarnock near Dublin taking part in the Irish A.C. 200 Guineas Challenge Cup for racers. Maurices heat was against A E MacDonald in S F Edge's Napier, both cars being rated at 60hp. He lost by 20 yards over a measured mile however MacDonald went on to win the final against C S Rolls in a 100hp Mors.
Maurice, Lord Egerton, inherited Tatton Park in 1920 and as part of a number of motor cars owned by the estate, he set his mechanic, Charlie Blake, to restore the 1900 Benz and in 1924 he transferred the "M 1" registration to the Benz where it has remained for the last 82 years.
For a full history of the Egerton motor cars at Tatton Park, see Veteran Car, The Gazette of the VCC of Great Britain, No. 302 June 2005. "Cars of Egerton of Tatton" by Andrew Trend.