1902 Rochet 4 1/2hp Type D Vis-à-Vis  Chassis no. 1369 Engine no. 2627

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Lot 307
1902 Rochet 4 1/2hp Type D Vis-à-Vis
Registration no. BS 8229 Chassis no. 1369 Engine no. 2627

Sold for £ 54,850 (US$ 75,692) inc. premium
1902 Rochet 4 1/2hp Type D Vis-à-Vis
Registration no. BS 8229
Chassis no. 1369
Engine no. 2627

Footnotes

  • Not to be confused with the Rochet Frères and the Rochet-Schneider, both built in Lyons, the Rochet was built in Paris by Compagnie Générale des Cycles et Autos at 74 Rue de la Folie, Regnault, Paris XI. Like so many pioneer motor car builders Rochet had entered the automobile industry from the cycle industry – a logical progression. Edouard Rossel of Lille provided the designs for the first Rochet cars which were conventional forward-engined, twin cylinders with four-speed gearboxes and double side-chain drive to the rear wheels. By 1900 the company was offering a 12hp car and unusually, in 1902, reversing the trends of most motor manufacturers, the company marketed a small rear-engined car adopting a 4 1/2hp, single-cylinder Aster engine, driving via a cone clutch through a Bozier gearbox - a delightfully neat piece of engineering design and finesse. There is little doubt that Rochet were keen to follow the commercially successful design formula which had been adopted by De Dion Bouton for their early voiturettes. Rochet even copied the vis-à-vis seating configuration as used by De Dion Bouton, itself drawn from the horse-drawn carriage era. Although a most sociable design, allowing driver and passengers to sit facing each other, it was arguably not conducive to road safety and this configuration was short-lived.

    This exceptionally attractive French voiturette is smartly presented in red livery with black body mouldings and fine red coachlining and furnished with buttoned red upholstery and equipped with nickel fittings. The vis-à-vis coachwork bears the plate of Bergeon & Cie, Carrossiers of Bordeaux. The car is equipped with a practical hood – useful on those occasional wet drives down the A23 – and this has recently been re-covered. Driving equipment includes also a double-twist bulb horn and oil side lamps. BS 8229 has been VCC dated and carries a dating plate for Certificate no.2240, issued in November 1998. Driving is simplicity itself, the 80 x 90mm, 452cc Aster engine, driving through the two-speed Bozier gearbox. Originality has been carefully maintained in all major respects although a discreet electric water pump has been fitted for convenience. The car has previously been owned by the present Chairman of the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain in whose hands it completed the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in 2003 and 2004. This quintessentially French veteran car comes with a quantity of invoices from present and past ownership, along with a French edition of the owner's manual. BS 8229 is entered for the 2010 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run and will carry number 157 with a 7.28am start time – those oil lamps will be needed!

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this car has come to the sale from the Republic of Ireland and the registration number BS 8229 is presently recorded by the DVLA as "permanently exported". The new owner will need to apply to the DVLA to recover this number. Please also note this vehicle is offered with a copy of the French edition of the owner's manual and the quantity of invoices are not present on file.
Contacts
1902 Rochet 4 1/2hp Type D Vis-à-Vis  Chassis no. 1369 Engine no. 2627
1902 Rochet 4 1/2hp Type D Vis-à-Vis  Chassis no. 1369 Engine no. 2627
1902 Rochet 4 1/2hp Type D Vis-à-Vis  Chassis no. 1369 Engine no. 2627
1902 Rochet 4 1/2hp Type D Vis-à-Vis  Chassis no. 1369 Engine no. 2627
1902 Rochet 4 1/2hp Type D Vis-à-Vis  Chassis no. 1369 Engine no. 2627
1902 Rochet 4 1/2hp Type D Vis-à-Vis  Chassis no. 1369 Engine no. 2627
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