1900 Marot-Gardon 2 3/4hp De Dion-engined Tricycle  Engine no. 16352
Lot 307
1900 Marot-Gardon 2 3/4hp De Dion-engined Tricycle
Engine no. 16352
Sold for £ 24,725 (US$ 31,630) inc. premium

Lot Details
1900 Marot-Gardon 2 3/4hp De Dion-engined Tricycle  Engine no. 16352 1900 Marot-Gardon 2 3/4hp De Dion-engined Tricycle  Engine no. 16352
1900 Marot-Gardon 2 3/4hp De Dion-engined Tricycle
Engine no. 16352
Frame No. 2

Footnotes

  • As early as 1882 Comte Albert De Dion with Trépardoux and Bouton built their first steam carriage at a time of rapid development of powered road transport and in a decade when it was by no means clear whether steam, electricity or the internal combustion engine would gain the upper hand. To the absolute dismay of Trépardoux, De Dion and Bouton favoured the internal combustion engine, developing the World's first successful high revving engines which were initially fitted to tricycles and quadricycles and achieved considerable successes in the new-fangled 19th Century motor sport. Cycle racing was a hugely popular sport in the last two decades of the 19th Century and racing motorised tricycles was a logical progression.

    The great sporting motorist Charles Jarrott wrote, 'I obtained the greatest pleasure from cycle racing .... then I came within the sphere of motors, and the whole scene changed. The atmosphere of speed enveloped me, and the fascination of motor racing laid hold of me, and on the first possible opportunity I took part in a motor race.' Jarrott raced De Dion tricycles alongside the likes of S. F. Edge and H. O. Duncan, taking part in classic events such as the Paris-Bordeaux – just one of the great City-to-City races. Prospective buyers of this machine should take Jarrott's classic work, Ten Years of Motors and Motor Racing 1896–1906, as their essential reading.

    Ph. Marot, Gardon et Cie of 37, Rue Brunel in Paris were just one of many manufacturers who adopted the De Dion Bouton engine which they fitted into tricycles and quadricycles of their own manufacture, production being based at Corbie, Somme. Production had commenced in 1898 and by 1899 the company also manufactured light voiturettes, also powered by the ubiquitous De Dion Bouton engine.

    This machine was discovered in 1997 in a shed in Southern France where it had lain for some 86 years. It was acquired by the present owners at auction in 1999 and restoration was commenced, including an engine rebuild and overhaul of the surface carburettor. Notes relating to the engine rebuild suggest that the engine, although originally thought to be 1 3/4hp, may well be a 2 3/4hp unit. Prospective buyers should make their own judgement on this matter.

    This Victorian machine is offered strictly as viewed but appears to be highly original in all major respects, although sadly missing a number of controls, levers, etc. It appears to offer a straightforward restoration project and is eminently eligible for events organised by the highly active De Dion Bouton Club UK. Interested buyers may like to note that a track day is planned for De Dion-engined tricycles in 2010 – perhaps this should be a target event for completion of restoration. This machine is eligible for both the Royal Automobile Club's London to Brighton Veteran Car Run and the Sunbeam Motorcycle Club's Pioneer Run to Brighton. It is offered without documentation.
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