1904 Clément-Bayard 9/11hp Type AC2K Twin-Cylinder Rear-Entrance Tonneau   Chassis no. 6022  Engine no. 2113
Lot 309
1904 Clément-Bayard 9/11hp Type AC2K Twin-Cylinder Rear-Entrance Tonneau Chassis no. 6022 Engine no. 2113
Sold for £104,404 (US$ 175,484) inc. premium
Lot Details
1904 Clément-Bayard 9/11hp Type AC2K Twin-Cylinder Rear-Entrance Tonneau
Chassis no. 6022
Engine no. 2113


  • Already a successful maker of bicycles and pneumatic tyres – he owned the Dunlop patents in France - Adolphe Clément diversified into automobile manufacture in 1899, taking an interest in the existing Gladiator concern. Rear-engined tricycles and quadricycles were made at the Gladiator works in Levallois-sur-Seine before Clément began building a conventional front-engined light car around 1901. Clément's early vehicles were powered by Aster, Panhard and De Dion engines, all three makes being at the forefront of automobile development.
    By January 1903 Clément et Gladiator claimed to have an annual capacity of 1,200 cars but in October that year Adolphe Clément broke his connection with the company and set up a new factory in Levallois-Perret. As he was unable to call the cars it built 'Cléments', he adopted the trade name 'Bayard' after a statue of the legendary medieval French hero 'le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche' that stood in front of his branch factory in Mézières in the Ardennes region, and officially changed his name to Clément-Bayard. He also formed a joint venture with the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot to assemble Clément-Bayard cars in London, where they were known as 'Clément-Talbots', eventually becoming the celebrated 'Talbot' marque as assembly developed into manufacture.
    Introducing the 1904 'Bayard' range, launched in the autumn of 1903, the French magazine La Vie Automobile wrote: 'Clément is one of the three or four giants of our special world. This man who says little and thinks a lot, whose activity is as great as his daring, is one of the unstoppable forces that drive the stupefying speed that we see in the automobile revolution.'
    The Clément-Bayard company was a pioneer of vertical integration, with little reliance on outside suppliers. Casting and rough machining work was carried out at Mézières and bodies were built in coachworks near the Levallois factory. Clément-Bayard's products were well-built and stylish, aimed at the well-to-do middle class, and in 1904 the Levallois-Perret factory employed some 1,600 men who built around 1,200 cars annually. Around 1906 Clément-Bayard began building taxicabs, a market also exploited by the rival Renault company, and between them the two firms dominated the Parisian taxicab scene.
    Clément-Bayard's factories produced munitions in large quantities during the 1914-18 war, after which he retired and sold his Levallois works to the up-and-coming André Citroën. He died from a heart attack while at the wheel of a car in 1928.
    In single family ownership from the 1930s until 2009, and on display in the Swiss National Transport Museum at Lucerne for 50 years from 1960, this twin-cylinder 4/5-seat rear-entrance tonneau is in a state of remarkable originality. Apart from a repaint long ago and a change from low- to high-tension magneto ignition just before The Great War, it appears to be just as it left the Levallois factory in 1904.
    Recently arrived in the UK, the car has been got running by renowned specialists, Archer's of Dunmow, though the original chassis requires further re-commissioning work to bring it back to full roadworthiness. '6022' comes with C&E Form 386 confirming EU import duty paid; VCC Veteran Passport (issued 21st July 2010) certifying its eligibility for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run; and a letter from recognised veteran car authority, Malcolm Jeal, stating that he believes the car to be 'genuine and demonstrably of 1904 date', the recorded information held at the Contemporary Archive Centre at Fontainebleau in France showing that 1904 Clément-Bayard chassis numbers ran from '6003' to '6303'.
    According to the most recent Handbook and List of Cars of the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain, only eight or so 9/11hp Bayard, Clément-Bayard, Clément-Talbot or Talbot cars eligible for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run are known to exist in members' hands.
  1. Tim Schofield
    Specialist - Motor Cars
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    United Kingdom
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