*Displayed at the 'Yorkshire Car Collection' 1999-2017
*Engine and transmission professionally rebuilt 2017/2018
*Many-time London-Brighton competitor
A Bordeaux gunsmith, Charles Schaudel diversified into bicycle manufacture towards the end of the 19th Century and built his first automobile in 1900. Far from conventional, and indeed pioneering in design, the Schaudel featured a twin-cylinder engine mounted transversely in the chassis, with the integral three-speed gearbox located in the sump. Sound familiar? Yes, this is exactly the same engine/transmission arrangement that Sir Alec Issigonis used for the Mini. This unitary layout was referred to as 'monobloc', which became the name of the car after Schaudel's brother-in-law Émile Dombret bought him out in 1902. The rest of the Schaudel was more conventional: final drive was by a chain, ignition by trembler coil, the inlet valves were 'atmospheric', and the radiator was mounted ahead of the 'coal scuttle' bonnet. The Schaudel was offered with a four-seater rear-entrance tonneau body, and in this form, it remained in production until 1904, when Dombret introduced entirely new Motobloc models of his own design.
One of only two known surviving Schaudels (the other is believed to be in Holland), this ultra-rare French Veteran spent most of its life in the Musée Bonnal à Bègles in Bordeaux. From there, the Schaudel was supplied with 'bare body' to one Jean Barthé of Bordeaux, who sold the car to Colin Moon. Mr. Moon then sold the car to John Brown of Newbury, who used it on VCC events until his death. The immediately preceding owner purchased the car, which was offered by Mr. Brown's estate, at Brooks' Beaulieu Sale in July 1999 (Lot 414).
Displayed at the 'Yorkshire Car Collection' from 1999 to 2017, the Schaudel has been used on VCC events with great success and has appeared on television in 'The Forsyte Saga', 'Brass', 'The Bretts', and 'Lost Empires'). It has also taken part in 12 London-Brighton Runs, only failing to complete the course on one occasion, which necessitated an engine rebuild (in 2013). The gearbox was rebuilt with new bearings and gears at the same time. A 2017 test drive showed the Schaudel to be a spirited performer, with effective brakes and a delightful three-speed gearbox. Top speed is around 25mph.
There are two plaques on the car: 'Société Anonyme des Automobiles Schaudel, Bordeaux', and 'Carrosserie Edmond Leffroy, 80 Boulevard Malesherbes, 8è, Paris'. The body is finished in Bordeaux, with gold pin-striping, gold bonnet flutes, and black wings, while the wheels are black with Burgundy pinstripes. The interior is upholstered in black leather, the seats featuring pleated backs, and the car comes equipped with Ducellier front lamps. In the interests of safety and convenience, an accelerator pedal, starter motor, and additional brakes have been fitted.
The current vendor purchased the Schaudel at Bonhams' London-Brighton Sale in November 2017 (Lot 223), since when he has spent some £33,000 getting it working correctly (bills on file). These extensive works included a full engine and gearbox rebuild; new wheels by Douglas Andrews; rebuilt water pump; new leather drive wheels; new bronze steering bushes; carburettor overhaul; fixing fuel tank leaks; new half-shafts, etc. The Schaudel is now truly ready for the road having been fettled by one of the best in the business: NP Veteran Engineering Ltd (Nigel Parrot). Unfortunately, at 6' 6" in height, the vendor cannot enjoy driving the car, hence its sale. Accompanying documentation consists of a copy of the 'International Register of Surviving Monoblocs & Schaudels'; copy technical literature; numerous expired MoTs; Science Museum Dating Certificate; bills for restoration; VCC Dating Certificate; an old-style French logbook; and a V5C Registration Certificate.
An opportunity to purchase an exceptionally rare, comfortable, four-seater, twin-cylinder motor car - benefiting from much recent work and expenditure - and with the added advantage of an early London-Brighton start number.
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