1923 Sizaire-Berwick 25/50 Two-Seater and Dickey,  Chassis no. L1/65 Engine no. 1244
Lot 171
1923 Sizaire-Berwick 25/50 Two-Seater and Dickey,
Registration no. XP-7914 Chassis no. L1/65 Engine no. 1244
Sold for £ 36,700 (US$ 46,302) inc. premium

Lot Details
1923 Sizaire-Berwick 25/50 Two-Seater and Dickey,  Chassis no. L1/65 Engine no. 1244 1923 Sizaire-Berwick 25/50 Two-Seater and Dickey,  Chassis no. L1/65 Engine no. 1244 1923 Sizaire-Berwick 25/50 Two-Seater and Dickey,  Chassis no. L1/65 Engine no. 1244 1923 Sizaire-Berwick 25/50 Two-Seater and Dickey,  Chassis no. L1/65 Engine no. 1244
1923 Sizaire-Berwick 25/50 Two-Seater and Dickey,
Coachwork by Park Ward

Registration no. XP-7914
Chassis no. L1/65
Engine no. 1244
The Sizaire-Berwick was a luxury car designed by talented engineer Maurice Sizaire after he had quarrelled with the playboy Duc D’Uzes, financial backer of the Sizaire-Naudin company, and been dismissed. Production began at Courbevoie, Paris, in 1913. The “Berwick” part of the name was F.W.Berwick, a London motor dealer who had ordered the construction of the cars. Financial backing for the venture came from the Keiller marmalade family. Sizaire-Berwick was French President Poincaré’s preferred transport to the Front during the Great War.

Working in the Courbevoie factory and teaching Maurice Sizaire to speak English was a young apprentice from London named Jack Waters, who later achieved fame under his stage name of Jack Warner, best-remembered for the role of “Dixon of Dock Green” on television. After the war, production of the Sizaire-Berwick shifted from France to Park Royal, London, where a new 4½-litre sidevalve four-cylinder 25/50-hp model designed by Maurice Sizaire went into production during 1920. It had a handsome vee-fronted radiator and was built to the highest standards. “A dream car out of a fairy tale,” declared the Revue der Sporten of Amsterdam. The company’s experimental engineer and chief tester was Jack (Warner) Waters, back in England after wartime service as a pilot with the Royal Air Force.

This magnificent car, finished in burgundy with a polished aluminium bonnet, is one of only a tiny handful of survivors of this distinguished marque, which came under Austin control in October 1922 and ceased production in 1925. The original buff logbook in the car’s file records that it was first registered on 17 December 1923. George Milligen averred that the car had once been owned by Jack Warner (who must certainly have driven it in his role as chief tester), though the first recorded owner was Frank Willoughby Cotton of Cotton motorcycles, who is said to have ordered the car at the 1923 Olympia Show. Could it have been that “Bill” Cotton, inventor of the renowned triangulated Cotton frame, acquired the imposing Sizaire-Berwick to celebrate the first TT win by his brilliant 19-year-old star rider Stanley Woods? It was laid up at Cotton’s home in Gloucestershire between 1937 and 1952, when it was acquired by VSCC member R.J.Langston. He kept the car until 1955, when it was bought by Ronald Johnson, a prominent member of the Mercedes-Benz Owners’ Club. He kept it for nine months before parting with it to that well-known “Purveyor of Horseless Carriages to the Nobility and Gentry”, David Scott-Moncrieff, who declared: “My Sizaire-Berwick had a performance approximately equal to an average Silver Ghost of the same year… the great charm… lies, like so many luxury cars of its day and age, in its slow-turning engine pulling a very high gear… I don’t remember any other engine of four cylinders quite so silken smooth.”

In 1958 it was bought by a Mr Capper, who sold the Sizaire-Berwick to the Montagu Motor Museum at Beaulieu, and it was displayed there and at the old Brighton Motor Museum until the Montagu Trust was given a 1914 Sizaire-Berwick that had once belonged to Alexander Keiller. George Milligen bought the car at auction in 1965, and drove it on the rally to commemorate the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994. Shortly afterwards the engine was fitted with four new pistons and a cylinder liner, while the crankshaft and flywheel were balanced.
As you would expect of a 1920s luxury car, the equipment is from the top drawer, with bell-shaped Bleriot-Phi headlamps and a wonderful cast lighting switch panel of almost sculptural quality on its well-equipped polished aluminium dashboard. The coachwork, appropriately enough, is by the firm of Park Ward - set up in 1919 by former Sizaire-Berwick employees William McDonald Park and Charles W.Ward.
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