Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358
Lot 214N
Property from a Private European Collection
c.1904 La Libellule V Twin Tricar
£20,000 - 25,000
US$ 26,000 - 33,000
To be sold without reserve

Lot Details
Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358 Property from a Private European Collection,c.1904  La Libellule  V Twin Tricar  Chassis no. 1358
Property from a Private European Collection
c.1904 La Libellule V Twin Tricar
Registration no. Not UK Registered
Chassis no. 1358
* Rare early machine
* Only 3 owners in nearly a century
* V-Twin power
* Good history file

Footnotes

  • La Libellule was the product of the Sotomayor company of Boulevard Bourdain in Paris. Whether its inventor set out with its name in mind or he christened it after having used the machine is not known, but it would seem that 'La Libellule' which translates as 'The Dragonfly' it is a perfect title for such an early vehicle with their buzzing and flighty characteristics! Unquestionably a lesser known manufacturer, they were certainly in business as early as 1906 as one was entered in that year's Tour de France according to La Vie Automobile. 

    This 'Dragonfly' has a wonderful history file with the rare inclusion of a 1920s log book and letters which confirm ownership for the first half of its life by the Clermont family in Clermont-Ferrand in the south west of France. On its 1921 registration it is listed as the property of Antoine Clermont, which is echoed by an engraved plaque on the central tube of the machine stating him to be a 'Carrossier' in Puy de Dôme. From Antoine it later passed to his son Joseph, and sometime between 1959/61 it was acquired by the current collector. Even shipping information remains on file charting delivery first to Paris and then to Lille where it was collected by them. Photos on file show La Libellule in 'as found' condition in those days, still wearing its original livery and complete with Dragonfly logo on its front seat. 

    Realising its early age and with a wish to campaign it, a restoration was carried out. This work was certainly completed by the 1980s as further photos show the vehicle being used on the London to Brighton in 1981. 

    Whether the date attributed at the time of 1904 would stand scrutiny today is uncertain. However regardless of this, with its configuration it certainly would seem to be quite early and at the very least should be Pioneer Run appropriate. The new owner will be only the third custodian in nearly a century, perhaps more, and will no doubt enjoy letting La Libellule fly again...
Activities
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N NOVA declaration

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