1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414
Lot 524
1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer
Sold for £19,837 (US$ 26,137) inc. premium

Lot Details
1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414 1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer  Chassis no. L1414
1913 Vermorel 12/16hp Model L Torpedo Tourer
Registration no. 6395 D
Chassis no. L1414
*Rare, high quality French motor car
*Believed the only early Vermorel in the UK
*Mechanically overhauled by the present (engineer) owner
*Proven record of extensive use

Footnotes

  • 'It is very speedy - Bledlow Ridge gave us a good opportunity to put the car through its paces - it steers easily at any pace and is the essence of controllability.' – The Motor testing a 12/16hp Vermorel in 1913.

    An engineering company established in the 1840s as manufacturers of agricultural and woodworking machinery, Établissements V Vermorel of Villefranche-sur-Saône, France built its first experimental automobile in the late 1890s, though production proper did not commence until 1908. Vermorel quickly established a reputation for quality; indeed, a British catalogue of 1913 described it as 'the Rolls-Royce of small cars' and 'the best effort of France'. Production of motor cars ceased in 1930, but Vermorel continued its other lines of business until it closed in 1965. Only a few Vermorel cars still exist, and that offered here is believed to be the only early example in the UK.

    Still carrying its original torpedo tourer body by Henri Gauthier & Cie, chassis number 'L1414' was discovered by a British collector in a barn in France in 1968 (see photograph on file). In complete condition when found, the car was restored and saw very little use until it was sold in 1973. It was then displayed in a museum until 1987 when the original British owner repurchased it.

    The vendor, a professional engineer, purchased the Vermorel in 1990 and has continued to maintain it to a very high standard. He has overhauled the engine (re-bore, new (aluminium) pistons, new valves, etc); relined the cone clutch; overhauled the rear axle (using taper-roller bearings); rebuilt the rear brakes, modifying them to use modern brake linings; overhauled the steering box; and fitted all new spring shackle pins, bushes, and plates. The vendor has also made the various special tools required to service the car, and has written a helpful instruction book containing all the data necessary to keep it in running condition.

    Finished in red with black wings/coachline and black leather interior, 'L1414' features its original brass plaques, a full set of brass lamps, a horn, period mirrors, and a clock. The car also comes with the double-duck hood and full set of side screens that were made in the 1960s but have been unused while in the present ownership. There are separate front and rear tonneau covers.

    Registered '6395 D', this Vermorel has been used regularly on Veteran Car Club events, driving some 13,000 miles while in the vendor's care. Accompanying documentation consists of an old-style logbook (1968), VCC Dating Certificate (1970), V5C registration document, an original French sales catalogue for 1913, a photocopy of the British catalogue, Bosch magneto instruction book, numerous invoices dating back 27 years, and a photocopy of the aforementioned article in The Motor. The aforementioned special tools and a quantity of useful spare parts, including a magneto, come with the car (lists available).

    Recently widowed, the vendor has reached an age where he wishes to reduce his collection. This is a wonderful opportunity to purchase a rare 'Brass Era' French motor car that is ready for serious motoring.
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