1914 Rochet Schneider Serie 11000SOLD

Christie's Retromobile Paris Auction - February, 16 & 17th, 2007

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Estimate 40,000 - 50,000 Euros
Result (incl.) 70,500 Euros

Engine: four-cylinder, 2,600cc, L-head monobloc, water-cooled, with Zenith carburettor and Bosch magneto ignition; Gearbox: four speed & reverse, cone clutch, shaft-drive to bevel back-axle; Suspension: front, semi-elliptic leaf springs; rear, three-quarter elliptic leaf springs. Brakes: rear-wheel and transmission brakes. Right hand drive.
Model history

Rochet-Schneider of Lyon was among the earliest of French motorcar makers, its first automobiles appearing in 1894. The design of these showed marked Benz and Peugeot influences and by 1900 cars of the Panhard-Levassor pattern were being made. The appearance of Mercédès motor cars in 1901 with their lower build, mechanical refinements, and neat honeycomb radiators sent reverberations through the French automobile industry and Rochet-Schneider was among the first to respond by making cars that followed the Mercédès pattern and exhibiting them at the 1902 Paris Salon. These new models were well received and licenses to build cars to the Rochet-Schneider design were obtained by the Swiss armaments makers Martini, by La Locomotrice and F.N. in Belgium, and the Italian firm Fabbrica d'Automobili Florentia.
In Lyon Rochet-Schneider concentrated on its own affairs: producing high-quality expensive cars for the top end of the market. Initially this brought respectable profits but come the 1907 depression Rochet-Schneider went into receivership but continued trading. By 1909 the business was profitable again thanks to manufacture of the Zénith carburettor designed by its general manager François Baverey, and the introduction of a new model range that included a smaller 12-16 model that was to remain in production with few changes until 1927. A seal of approval was put on the firm's products when in 1911 the President of France, Raymond Poincaré, acquired a Rochet-Schneider for his official duties.

The Series 11000 model was introduced at the beginning of 1912, receiving approval from the Service des Mines in February that year. It would continue in production until the end of 1914.

Specific history of this car

Originally registered on the 2nd August 1914, further details of this car's early are not known until it was imported to Switzerland from France in 1963 by local motoring historian Ernst Schmid. By this time it was in rolling chassis form, and had the remnants of some bodywork with it, having suffered the indignity of being converted to a pick-up truck in the 1950s.

It was subsequently acquired by an enthusiast, who totally dismantled the car but lost interest and did not pursue the project. The car was then purchased by the current owner in 1984.

A ten year rebuild ensued, during which time the owner sourced a period landaulet body from the UK, it having lain outside in a garden. It is understood that this coachwork proved an easy fit to the chassis needing no alteration, so this was in turn restored also, retaining its period features such as handles, window clamps, speaking tube etc. A full photographic record of the restoration is offered with the car.

On completion the car was dated by the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain, with certificate number 1705. Since this time, the owner's use has been very modest, with the result that he has now decided to part with it.

Specific details of the car

The Rochet-Schneider is extremely well-presented, its handsome bodywork being enhanced by a plethora of brass fittings, including self-generating headlamps and elegant sidelights, and the presence of the varnished wood wheels bulkhead and window frames provide good contrast to the body colour. The rear compartment is beautifully appointed with button-backed cord, arm rest cushions, and a vanity unit with clock, the driving compartment being trimmed in black leather.

The distinctive square-cut radiator of an Edwardian Rochet-Schneider makes it a pleasing looking motorcar. With the top and windows down, the car would no doubt provide light airy motoring and a very usable mount for the variety of events for Edwardian cars.

The firm's own simple description of its products as 'Les voitures de qualité' loses nothing in translation and its validity is generally accepted as being entirely justified.

Reference Number 6954

as of 2/1/2007

Car 1914 Rochet Schneider Serie 11000
VIN 11936 
Exterior / Interior Color      Dark Blue /      Grey 
Configuration Right Hand Drive (RHD) 
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