Based at Luneville in Lorraine, France, De Dietrich et Cie started out as makers of railway locomotives before branching out into automobile manufacture in 1896, by which time the oft-disputed province had been annexed by Germany. Designs by Amédée Bollée, Vivinus and Turcat-Méry were licensed at first before the firm commissioned Ettore Bugatti to come up with some of its own. In 1905, the car/aero engine divisions name was changed to Lorraine-Dietrich and the Cross of Lorraine adopted as an emblem, emphasising the companys French origins. Considerable effort was put into racing at this time, using purpose-built cars fitted with enormous engines. After WWI, with Lorraine restored to France, manufacture of cars (and aero engines) recommenced, the principal models of the 1920s being a 12CV (2.3-litre) four and a brace of sixes: 15CV (3.4-litre) and 30CV (6.1-litre). Of these, the 15CV B3-6 was the most successful, entering the history books by winning the 3rd and 4th Le Mans 24-Hour races in 1925 and 1926, interrupting Bentleys run of successes. Lorraine thus became the first marque to win the famous endurance classic twice and the first to win in consecutive years. The 15CV was manufactured until 1932 (by which time the firm was known simply as Lorraine) when the successor 20CV model was introduced. An expensive failure, the latter led to Lorraine quitting the automobile market in 1935 to concentrate on military projects. Purchased by the current vendor at Bonhams & Goodmans Melbourne Sale in March 2008 (Lot 128), this right-hand drive B3-6 had been acquired by the immediately preceding owner from a collector/restorer in Queensland. Delivered new to Australia and originally a four-seater tourer, it was fitted with a fine recreation of the Le Mans-style boat tail coachwork during extensive restoration some five years ago. The car is finished in grey with black leather interior and is presented in very fine general order, benefiting from a recent full service including an overhaul of the rear axle and a complete rebuild of the rear brakes. In good driving condition, it performs well and is supplied with an MoT valid until March 2010. The chassis and the four-seater coachwork remain in excellent condition and this B3-6 could well be the only one of its kind currently available in Europe. This fine car is offered with VCC dating certificate, current road fund licence and Swansea V5C registration document. A spare front axle iron and various brake and axle parts are included in the sale.