'A True Family Retainer' 1912 Darracq Spent Over A Century With Four Generations Of The Same Family

For Sale With H&H Classics At Duxford June 22nd £30,000 - £40,000

09/06/2022     General News

This French beauty has lived with the same family for over 100 years in the Peterborough area of England.

It now comes to sale with H&H Classics seeking a new owner for maybe another century? It is estimated to sell for £30,000 to £40,000. In current family ownership since 1917, it comes to auction with its original purchase invoice present.

Paul Cheetham of H&H Classics, says: “It has been subject to a restoration during the 1970s and presenting today with a nice patina. It is one of just three examples thought to survive. Suited to many V.C.C and V.S.C.C events it is French rated at 10hp (equating to 11.5hp in British R.A.C ratings)and is offered with a history file and spare engine parts.

Adrian Serjeant, one of the families with whom it has had a home for all these years says: “The family has lived in the same house for 400 years, which was a farmhouse at the edge of Peterborough. The car came into the family when it was five years old as the Navy commissioned my great grandfather, who was a cattle farmer, to source beef cattle for them. He found getting around the East Anglian cattle markets a bit of a chore in a pony and trap so with the help of the Navy the Darracq was purchased. Within a week the cart driver found himself at the wheel of the car which motors happily at

20mph. In 1926 it was rather dated so it was put into one of the farm barns under a tarp and stayed there until the 60s when it was restored to working order. A friend and I got it going for its hundredth birthday in 2012 and took it to a local rally where it performed very well until the leather belt snapped. Luckily my friend was able to take off his own belt and we managed to get it running again.” Adrian’s son inherited the car when he was eight years old, but has no interest in cars and is selling it to raise a deposit for a home of his own now that he is in his 20s.

Alexandre Darracq made a fortune in the bicycle industry's boom years (the late 19th Century) before, like many of his contemporaries, turning his attention to motorised transport. After two false starts, Darracq launched his first successful internal combustion-engined automobile in 1900. That initial 6½hp single-cylinder voiturette was followed by a range of twins and

fours, and the marque soon established a reputation for sporting prowess. The 10hp Darracq was powered by a four-cylinder engine with a high-tension Bosch magneto. With the French and British authorities having different horsepower ratings for a given engine size, the 10hp Darracq equates to circa 11.5hp in British R.A.C ratings. A three-speed manual transmission is operated via a leather-faced cone design clutch with stopping provided by rear drum brakes.

Manufactured in 1912, the Type L12 Tourer offered was supplied new to a Richard R. Black Esq. of Peterborough, who retained the Darracq until 1917 when it was acquired by the vendor’s great grandfather. A purchase receipt dated 20th September 1917 for the sum of £180 is present in the history file, with the Darracq remaining in the current family ownership ever since (across three individuals and four generations). Amazingly, the Tourer has spent its entire 110-year existence in the Peterborough area. Featuring a Torpedo two-seater

body-style with hood, screen, acetylene headlamps, oil lamps and horn all included for the £225 new purchase price, the L12 also sports beaded-edge wheels, a Stepney spare, original tool-kit and functional starting handle.

One of just three thought to survive today, the Type L12 resided in a farmyard building for a number of years in the 1960s, before benefitting from a comprehensive restoration in the 1970s (across a three-year period), being local newspaper featured on completion. Accompanied by an RF60 ‘buff’ logbook issued on the 16th January 1925 in Soke of Peterborough; period photographs from different stages of its life; the previously mentioned 1917 purchase receipt; copies of invoices for work completed through the 1920s and copies of advertisements. Previous MOTs and copies of logbooks are further documented, and a number of spare engine parts are also offered with the car. Suited

to many V.C.C and V.S.C.C events, this is an exceptionally rare survivor with magnificent history.