Ex-Otto Zipper, William Harrah Mille Miglia eligible
1927 Amilcar CGSS Two Seater Sports
Chassis no. CGSS41239
1100cc side valve engine
35hp Single Solex side draft carburetors
4-Wheel mechanical brakes
*Pedigree pre-war sports machine
*Fantastic provenance with ownership by two American legends
*One of the best looking of all the Amilcars
*The only Mille Miglia eligible Amilcar
Amilcar was founded by Andre Morel and engineer Edmond Moyet to build cyclecars with sufficient performance for Morel to realize his dream of competition success. Emile Akar, a Paris businessman, and Joseph Lamy, an executive at cyclecar maker Le Zebre, backed Morel's and Moyet's prototype, which was enthusiastically received. Powered by a diminutive 904cc four-cylinder side-valve engine, Amilcar's first model, the CC, commenced production in 1921. The CC was praised for its excellent, responsive handling and adequate power, attracting a large and loyal following and setting the pattern for future models. It also provided Morel with his desired competition success when he became the 1100cc Class champion of France in 1922.
The Chassis Gran Sport Surbaisse or CGSS was introduced in 1926 and represented the ultimate development of this series. The engine was highly tuned and new wide sump was fitted. What made the CGSS special was the lowered chassis and its distinctive long frame rail projections in front of the radiator. This new lowered grand sports Amilcar was delivered in attractive coachwork in the form of a grand prix type two seater sports. The earliest of the CGSS had the attractive upswept cowl for driver protection. The CGSS was well equipped with full instrumentation including tachometer and le Nivex fuel gauge all fitted in a polished aluminum dash.
The CGSS would be the only Amilcar model to compete in the Mile Migllia and as a result is the only type eligible for the event today.
The Motorcar Offered
The CGSS offered here has wonderful American provenance. Having been purchased from its original owner in Paris by famed racer, owner, Bugatti aficionado and Porsche dealer Otto Zipper. Zipper had the car for several years and displayed the car at numerous shows, always trailering it. He sold the car on to none other than William Harrah in 1962. Harrah's team proceeded to research the car heavily and contacted many of the premier marque authorities (letters included in the history file). It stayed as part of the Harrah's Auto Collection until the dispersal auctions of the mid-1980s. After its sale, Harrah's still active restoration shop was commissioned to restore the car by its new owner. Today it wears this restoration and presents very well.
It was acquired by the vendor in 2006 and has enjoyed regular use and careful maintenance since. The car has competed in vintage hill climb events but mostly has enjoyed sporting outings in the New England countryside.
These Amilcar CGSSs, though highly rare in the marketplace, still represent tremendous value, having the charisma and looks of sports machines costing many times more. With eligibility for many of the world's most exclusive events including the Mille Miglia, they are an extremely reasonable entry into a very exclusive club. This example with its impeccable provenance, excellent specification and fascinating history file is highly recommended indeed.