1903 Clement 14 hpSOLD

A very special VCC dated four cylinder five seat Brighton car in really lovely condition.

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Adolphe Clement-Bayard was wide ranging entrepreneur who was involved in the manufacture of bicycles, motor cycles, pneumatic tyres, aeroplanes and airships and of course motor cars. According to Georgano’s excellent Encyclopedia of Motor Cars he was already wealthy from the success of his bicycle and tyre manufacturing businesses when he started making motor cars in 1899 in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret. You would need to read Georgano to fully understand the complex nature of his association with other car makers including Gladiator, Panhard-Levassor, Clement-Bayard and Talbot but suffice to say he was involved in the production of many very fine motor cars in the early part of the 20th century.

This particular four seat rear entrance tonneau, which was built in 1903 (as verified by its Veteran Car Club dating certificate number 1680) is powered by a four cylinder 2.4 litre engine rated at 14 hp mated to a quiet and easy-to-use four speed and reverse gear box which drives the rear axle by a conventional propellor shaft.

The file tells us that the car was found by on the Isle of Wight in 1964 by which time it was in a dilapidated state as can be seen from a selection of contemporary photographs which show a complete but very tired looking rolling chassis with all its mechanicals in place but without any coachwork. There are several letters in the file between its owner and various people including members of the VCC which help to piece together what happened to it after it was discovered.

By the mid 1980s it has been restored and rebodied and has been issued with the all-important VCC dating certificate. It was acquired in 2004 by noted restorer, stalwart of early motoring and VCC past president Johnny Thomas of Carmarthen who, in 2012, had a new engine block made for it. This will have been a very expensive item which he further enhanced by fitting a pressurised pump driven engine oiling system so drivers can make confident use of its performance - subsequent owners will most certainly benefit from these mechanical investments.

Apart from looking superb the Clement, which has the benefit of an electric starter, really goes very well and is certainly capable of around 50 mph which is rapid for a 1904 14 hp engined machine. Although robustly built it is a relatively light car which steers and handles very well and spirited driving is encouraged by its really very good brakes. It also has a detachable windscreen which might be appreciated on the rare occasions when it rains during the Brighton Run!

This is a very desirable four cylinder Brighton Car which will appeal to the very serious enthusiast who wants the best. The current owner is only considering selling it because he has been presented with a one-off investment opportunity which he does not want to miss.

Reference Number 368562

as of 9/4/2015

Car 1903 Clement 14 hp
Configuration Right Hand Drive (RHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
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