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. This was a vertical-engined, single-cylinder voiturette of 6½hp with a tubular steel chassis and shaft drive, both very advanced features in its day.
This 1901 car follows that specification and carries most attractive rear-entrance tonneau coachwork, comfortably accommodating four people. It is very well known in Veteran car circles and once formed part of the collection of Sir Ray Tindle, generous sponsor of the London-Brighton Veteran Car Run. This Darracq has been a regular London-Brighton Run competitor in recent years and carries a number of Brighton plaques. On 2nd November 2003 it was successfully driven to Brighton by Bonhams' Chairman, Robert Brooks, with family aboard, and he was to enthuse positively about the sturdy performance on the Brighton road, the car taking all hills in its stride.
'BS 8241' is attractively liveried in dark blue with fine red pin-striping, black mudguards, maroon wire wheels and black leather upholstery. Accessories include Lucas 'King of the Road' oil side lamps and a brass bulb horn. Prior to the 2003 Brighton Run the car was serviced by Veteran car specialist Richard Peskett and in December of that year was offered for sale at Bonhams' Olympia auction (Lot 1075) where it was purchased by the current vendor.
Since acquisition the Darracq has participated in the London-Brighton Veteran Car Run in 2005, 2006 and 2009, on the latter occasion following the installation of a new Phoenix crankshaft (in 2008). Laid up in the vendor's garage since 2010, the car is described as in generally good condition, albeit suffering from a stuck clutch resulting from its inactivity. 'BS 8241' is VCC dated (carrying Plate no. 2133) and is offered with SORN and Swansea V5C registration document.