Mon, 3rd Oct 2005 0:00

Syon House

Lot 84
Lot 84 - C 1898 Hurtu-Benz Dos-a-Dos

C 1898 Hurtu-Benz Dos-a-Dos

Sold for £13,500

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: UN-REG
Chassis No: MO160
Mot Expiry: None

With a manufacturing background that included sewing machines and bicycles, the French Hurtu company built its first 'proper' car in 1896. A licensed copy of the contemporary single-cylinder, belt-driven Benz, it remained in production until 1900 (when it was superseded by a more advanced De Dion Bouton engined machine). Exceptionally rare, this particular example is thought to be the only one of its type to have appeared at public auction in the UK for decades. Boasting an unusual history, it was reportedly resident in a French Chateau until about ten years ago. Believed to have suffered a terminal engine failure in 1915, its subsequent conversion from horse-less to horse-drawn power (complete with turntable) helped save it from oblivion. Surviving in this altered state to the present day, the Hurtu still proudly displays a body number plaque, distributor's plate and brass water tanks. Riding high on springs that are said to be of French design (and thus different from those used by English firm Marshall for its comparable Benz clone), it was treated to a preservative repaint by a previous owner. A potentially rewarding restoration project - especially given that replacement drivetrains are available from the likes of John Bentley etc - this fascinating French Veteran is offered for sale with recent correspondence from Veteran Car Club luminary, Malcolm Jeal.

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