1900 Decauville 5hp Twin-cylinder Vis-à-vis Voiturelle  Engine no. 1002
Lot 156
1900 Decauville 5hp Twin-cylinder Vis-à-vis Voiturelle
Registration no. Not U.K. registered Engine no. 1002
Sold for £ 60,900 (US$ 76,502) inc. premium

Lot Details
1900 Decauville 5hp Twin-cylinder Vis-à-vis Voiturelle  Engine no. 1002 1900 Decauville 5hp Twin-cylinder Vis-à-vis Voiturelle  Engine no. 1002
1900 Decauville 5hp Twin-cylinder Vis-à-vis Voiturelle
Registration no. Not U.K. registered
Engine no. 1002

Footnotes

  • Decauville were noted locomotive manufacturers before entering the infant motor industry in 1898, their early motor cars first being marketed as Guédons. Société Decauville of Boulevard Malesherbes, Paris, had exhibited a 2 3/4hp vis-à-vis motor car at the 1898 Paris Agricultural Show, this model being heralded to much acclaim and in motor sport Decauville enjoyed considerable success, achieving first in class in the Paris to Amsterdam Race of 1898 over 969 miles, a similar result in the Tour de France in 1899 over a gruelling 1,450 miles, and first place in the Coupe des Voiturelles in the Paris-Rouen-Paris event in 1900. Chief engineer Cornilleau designed the new twin-cylinder 5hp Decauville towards the end of 1899. Cornilleau’s new car moved Decauville into a different league. The 5hp twin was traditional in most respects, with rear-mounted engine and chain final drive and with vertical tiller steering. The quality of Decauville engineering was undoubted, the company having a long and venerable history in precision engineering, notably in the steam world and in locomotive manufacture. Various body styles were offered for the new model – the three-seater vis-à-vis proving the most popular.

    This example was acquired for the Collection in 2006 and at that time it was stated that this Voiturelle had remained with the Decauville company from new – a remarkable history indeed. The car is finished in dark blue livery with cream coachlining and matching wire wheels and is equipped with brass oil front lamps and furnished with pleated black upholstery. Rear suspension is provided by full elliptic leaf springs, while front suspension is by transverse leaf springing and sliding pillars, providing effectively independent front suspension, claimed by some to be the first instance of this, but probably challenged by the British-built Stephens car manufactured in Somerset. Although this car has been the subject of some cosmetic refreshment some time ago, it remains otherwise in exceptionally original condition and to original specification in all major respects. It has not been run while in the Collection but our inspection of this vehicle suggests that recommissioning will be, in our opinion, a relatively straightforward process. These Decauvilles, of which just six 3 ½ or 5hp cars are currently recorded with the Veteran Car Club, are known to perform strongly on the open road.
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