c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003

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Lot 217
c.1900 Bruneau Quadricycle
Registration no. BS 8724 Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003

£ 40,000 - 50,000
US$ 54,000 - 68,000
c.1900 Bruneau Quadricycle
Registration no. BS 8724
Chassis no. 371
Engine no. 1003

• Believed the sole survivor of only three made
• De Dion Bouton engine
• Four owners from new
• Restored in 2020
• Entered in the 2021 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, no. 22

Footnotes

  • Operating from premises at 12 Victor Hugo Street, Tours, Bruneau was an early manufacturer of motorcycles, tri-cars, and quadricycles and/or quadrilettes, it being believed that only three of the latter were constructed. Like many contemporary manufacturers, Bruneau used the ubiquitous De Dion Bouton engines for its products before partnering with Herdtlé to make Herdtlé-Bruneau proprietary engines and motorcycles from 1902 to 1913. Bruneau was later associated with Rochet.

    This product of one of the more obscure French motor manufacturers of the fin-de-siècle period was sold new via Garage Gouard in Montrichard to a prominent citizen of Tours. It is powered by a single-cylinder De Dion Bouton engine, believed to be of 2¾ horsepower. Engineer Georges Bouton's power units developed significantly greater output than those of rivals Daimler and Benz yet matched them for reliability. Small wonder then that De Dion Bouton engines were adopted by many other manufacturers of tricycles, quadricycles and light cars, both in Europe and the United States, influenced no doubt by the success of the flying tricycles in such events as the Paris-Bordeaux and other endurance races. Early 137cc engines ran at speeds of up to 1,500rpm, while the 250cc engine of 1896 developed approximately 1¾hp and made the contemporary Benz engines seem positively antiquated.

    Very few examples of Bruneau's charming little quadricycle were made and this is the only known survivor. This Bruneau remained in the original owner's family until the early 1960s. In 1995, the car took part in the centenary celebration of the famous Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race of 1895, an event accepted as the world's first motor race. The immediately preceding (third) owner purchased the Bruneau in France, and in November 2019 offered it for sale at Bonhams' London to Brighton Run auction (Lot 310) where it was purchased by the current vendor.

    The Bruneau was restored in 2020, the engine being rebuilt with a new piston; exhaust valve and guide together with a new crank pin, con-rod and drive shaft. In addition, the non-original magneto was replaced with a pair of trembler coils and a battery. The transmission received a new crown wheel and pinion, while the handbrake and foot brake were relined. The Bruneau has also been repainted and re-upholstered (its first original red paint was found under many layers of thick, black, tar-like paint). The car comes with restoration invoices, a V5C document, and a Veteran Passport valid until 31/12/2023 allowing an entry for the VCR. Indeed, this Bruneau is entered into the 2021 London to Brighton Run as an early starter, number '22'.
Contacts
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
c.1900 Bruneau  Quadricycle  Chassis no. 371 Engine no. 1003
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