1921 Chenard et Walcker TT Saloon
From the The Automobile Magazine 'Oily Rag' Reserve Collection; successfully completed a 300-mile trip in 2017; rear axle needs attention
Ernest Chenard and Henri Walcker began making cars in 1900 in Asnières-sur-Seine, moving to a new factory in Gennevilliers in 1908. By the time war broke out in 1914, they were one of the top 10 car makers in France with a range of models from two- to 4.5-litres in size and a lucrative contract to provide most of the taxis in Paris.
The war years were spent making Hispano-Suiza aircraft engines but car manufacture was soon resumed and in 1923 a Chenard Walcker three-litre won the very first Le Mans 24-Hour race. By 1925 they were the fourth largest car maker in France, going into partnership with Delahaye in in 1927. By 1936 they were having financial difficulties and were finally taken over by Peugeot in 1946.
Dating from 1921, this TT Saloon has the two-litre (70 by 130mm bore and stroke) four-cylinder sidevalve engine rated at 10CV. This is mated to four-speed manual transmission with foot-operated front brakes, the rear brakes being operated by a hand-lever to the right of the driver – an arrangement that means there is no front door on that side of the car so the driver has to enter and exit through the passenger door.
Little is known of the car’s previous history but a brass plaque on the dash suggests that it was at one time owned by a Dr Nourrigat of Sigean, Aude, while correspondence of file states that it later spent more than 50 years in a private museum owned by a Monsieur Laporte of Marseilles. In 2001 it was acquired by well-known VSCC member George Stanton of Lodge Garage, Aylesbury, invoices and photographs on file showing that he soon got the car recommissioned and driving.
It joined the Oily Rag Collection in 2012. In 2017 it completed a 300-mile round trip to the VSCC Prescott Hill Climb but has been unused since as it now requires a back axle rebuild. The engine turns easily on the starting handle and the compressions feel healthy.
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