1905 Darracq Flying Fifteen
Lot 271
1905 Darracq Flying Fifteen Rear Entrance Tonneau Chassis no. 6913 Engine no. 7653
Sold for €178,250 (US$ 225,646) inc. premium

Lot Details
1905 Darracq Flying Fifteen 1905 Darracq Flying Fifteen 1905 Darracq Flying Fifteen 1905 Darracq Flying Fifteen
1905 Darracq Flying Fifteen Rear Entrance Tonneau
Chassis no. 6913
Engine no. 7653
Alexandre Darracq made a fortune in the bicycle industry's boom years of the late 19th Century and like many of his contemporaries turned his attention to powered transport. After two false starts that saw him abandon electric carriage manufacture and then attempt unsuccessfully to sell the built-under-licence Léon Bollée voiturette, Darracq launched his first successful internal combustion-engined automobile in 1900. That first 6½hp single-cylinder voiturette was followed by a range of twins and fours, and to publicise his products Darracq set about establishing a reputation for sporting prowess. In 1905 a 22-litre V8-engined monster set a new World Land Speed Record of 109.65mph, and that same year Darracq won the both the Circuit des Ardennes and Vanderbilt Cup races, repeating the latter victory in 1906.
Introduced in 1904, an advanced feature of early Darracqs was a chassis frame pressed out of a single piece of steel, while that same year also saw the arrival of the 'Flying Fifteen'. The latter was powered by a 3.0-litre sidevalve four rated at 15hp and would go on to become Darracq's most successful model to date. Of exceptional quality, the Flying Fifteen remained essentially unchanged for the next three years, its success helping the company capture a 10% share of the French market. In 1904 the United States importer accomplished the remarkable feat of covering 2,350 miles in 14 days at the wheel of a 15hp Darracq without stopping its engine!
This Darracq Flying Fifteen was purchased in July 2005 in an un-restored condition from Mrs Pam
Knight, the widow of the late Mr Ron Knight, and comes with an inventory listing all the parts that were acquired with it. There was a complete rolling chassis with part of the front body and two original front bucket seats (the back section of the rear entrance tonneau body is new). The engine has been completely rebuilt, incorporating new pistons and valves/seats/springs, while the original crankshaft has been reground and white-metalled. The three-speed gearbox likewise has been fully overhauled with new seals and shaft bearings, retaining the original gears that were in good condition. A new cone clutch liner and new fuel tank were installed and an electric starter fitted, the latter being a most useful addition.
The rebuild was completed in October 2006, since when the Darracq has been enjoyed by its lady driver on various appropriate events, including all those of Veteran Car Club's North Eastern section, covering some 2,500 miles (approximately 4,000 kilometres) in the past four years. Well known within VCC circles, the car is much admired for its reliability and the fact that it can attain speeds of up to 55mph. Offering performance to match its stunning appearance, this beautiful Darracq Flying Fifteen is offered with 'as found' and restoration photographs, Science Museum dating certificate, 2008 FIVA Passport, VCC Events Passport, roadworthiness certificate (MoT) and UK V5C registration document.

Alexandre Darracq fit fortune dans l'industrie du cycle à la fin du XIXe siècle et, comme beaucoup de ses contemporains, il s'intéressa au véhicule à moteur. Après deux échecs qui lui firent abandonner la voiture électrique et la production sous licence de la voiturette Léon Bollée, Darracq lança sa première automobile à essence réussie en 1900. Cette première voiturette à moteur monocylindre de 6 ½ HP fut suivie par une série de bicylindres et de quatre-cylindres et, pour promouvoir ses productions, Darracq se bâtit un palmarès sportif. En 1905, un monstre à moteur V8 de 22 litres établit le record de vitesse absolue sur terre à 175,5 km/h et, la même année, Darracq remporta à la fois le Circuit des Ardennes et la Coupe Vanderbilt en répétant ce dernier succès l'année suivante.
Les premières Darracq se distinguèrent par une caractéristique moderne introduite en 1904 sous la forme d'un cadre de châssis en tôle emboutie et, la même année apparut la 'Flying Fifteen' ou 15 HP. Celle-ci munie d'un moteur de 3 litres développant 15 cv devint la Darracq la plus vendue en son temps. D'une qualité exceptionnelle, elle resta au catalogue sans changement pendant encore trois ans. Son succès permit à Darracq de prendre 10% du marché français. En 1904, l'importateur américain accomplit un exploit remarquable en parcourant 3,760 km en 14 jours sans arrêter le moteur d'une Darracq 15 HP.
Cette Darracq 15 HP, acquise non restaurée en juillet 2005 de Mme. Pam Knight, veuve de M. Ron Knight, est accompagnée d'une liste des pièces achetées avec la voiture. Il y avait donc un châssis roulant complet avec une partie avant de la carrosserie et deux sièges baquets d'origine (la partie arrière du tonneau à entrée arrière est neuve). Le moteur a été totalement refait avec des pistons et des soupapes/sièges/ressorts neufs, tandis que le vilebrequin d'origine a été rechargé et rectifié. De même la boîte à trois rapports a été refaite avec des joints et des paliers neufs, les pignons d'origine étant en bon état. L'embrayage à cône a été regarni, le réservoir est neuf et un démarreur électrique, addition très utile, a été installé.
La restauration a été achevée en octobre 2006 et, depuis, la Darracq a été appréciée par sa propriétaire lors de diverses manifestations réservées à ce type d'automobile comme celles de la North Eastern Section du Veteran Car Club (VCC), parcourant environ 4,000 km au cours des quatre dernières années. Bien connue dans les milieux du VCC , la voiture est très admirée pour sa fiabilité et sa capacité à rouler à près de 90 km/h. Dotée de performances dignes de son apparence étonnante, cette belle Darracq 15 HP est accompagnée de photos prises lors de sa découverte et pendant sa restauration, d'un certificat de datation du Science Museum, du passeport FIVA 2008, du passeport du VCC, du contrôle technique du MoT et du document d'immatriculation V5 au Royaume-Uni.

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