1901 Royal Enfield 4½hp Forecar Quadricycle  Chassis no. 16403

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Lot 201
1901 Royal Enfield 4½hp Forecar Quadricycle
Sold for £ 50,600 (US$ 65,832) inc. premium

Lot Details
1901 Royal Enfield 4½hp Forecar Quadricycle  Chassis no. 16403 1901 Royal Enfield 4½hp Forecar Quadricycle  Chassis no. 16403 1901 Royal Enfield 4½hp Forecar Quadricycle  Chassis no. 16403 1901 Royal Enfield 4½hp Forecar Quadricycle  Chassis no. 16403 1901 Royal Enfield 4½hp Forecar Quadricycle  Chassis no. 16403 1901 Royal Enfield 4½hp Forecar Quadricycle  Chassis no. 16403 1901 Royal Enfield 4½hp Forecar Quadricycle  Chassis no. 16403 1901 Royal Enfield 4½hp Forecar Quadricycle  Chassis no. 16403
1901 Royal Enfield 4½hp Forecar Quadricycle
Registration no. JM 3239
Chassis no. 16403
* Rare Royal Enfield four-wheeler
* Single-cylinder De Dion Bouton engine
* Formerly displayed in the sidecar museum in Cingoli, Italy
* Requires re-commissioning

Footnotes

  • The origins of the Royal Enfield marque can be traced back to a small light engineering firm - George Townsend & Company - founded in Hunt End, near the Worcestershire town of Redditch, in mid-Victorian times. The firm moved into bicycle manufacture during the late Victorian boom years and by the turn of the Century had been reorganised as the Enfield Cycle Company, makers of the 'Royal Enfield'.

    The Redditch company built its first powered vehicles - De Dion-engined tricycles and quadricycles - in the closing years of the 19th Century, and its first motorcycles around 1900. By 1904 the firm was concentrating on car production, resuming motorcycle manufacture in 1910 with a 2¼hp v-twin Motosacoche-powered lightweight. Royal Enfield's quadricycles were produced from the late 1890s until 1905 and employed single-cylinder De Dion engines of varying sizes and power outputs. The company obviously possessed abundant faith in its products, as one of the quads, crewed by Messrs Iliffe and Grew, was entered in the Automobile Club of Britain and Ireland's Thousand Miles Trail of 1900 (London to Edinburgh and back), which it successfully completed, winning a silver medal.

    In 1905 the car manufacturing side of the business was spun off and reconstituted as the Enfield Autocar Company Ltd, which switched from producing light cars to making much larger models. Hit by the general downturn in demand of 1907/1908, Enfield was acquired by Alldays & Onions. Production of Enfield models continued for a couple of years before being phased out, subsequent Enfields being re-badged versions of Alldays' more upmarket designs. The last 'Enfield' cars were offered in 1915.

    According to a copy of the Cumbria County Council motor vehicle registration records on file, this wonderful Royal Enfield forecar was registered in January 1904 as 'EC 32', its first owner being Edward Boyd Hargreaves of Kendal. The old-style buff logbook on file lists one Richard Hodgson of Milnthorpe as owner in 1954, followed by A E Reynolds of Liverpool and F H Babcock of St Albans (until at least the early 1970s). The car's VCC Dating Certificate (number '765') was issued in 1957 when it was still registered as 'EC 32'.

    The current vendor purchased the Royal Enfield in 2007 from the world's only specialist sidecar museum in Cingoli, Italy. The museum had bought the Royal Enfield in Europe and had owned it for many years; otherwise, little is known of its recent history or mechanical condition. Believed restored in the 1950s, the machine will require re-commissioning at the very least before returning to the road. Effectively a two-seater 'Brighton' car, it is offered with a V5 document, an old-style logbook, and assorted correspondence.
Activities
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