Classic Van Auction Talk

Wednesday 16 October 2019

1902 Peugeot 5½hp Bébé Two-seat Runabout - BONHAMS AUCTIONS London to Brighton Sale Friday 1st November 2019 New Bond Street Saleroom, London


London to Brighton Sale
Friday 1st November 2019
New Bond Street Saleroom, London

1902 Peugeot 5½hp Bébé Two-seat Runabout
Registration no. A1386
Engine no. 5133L
*Body no. 3296

*Purchased off the Paris Motor Show stand in 1902
*Outstandingly original condition
*Known ownership history with present ownership since 2006
*Many-time London to Brighton Veteran Car Run finisher


  • Possessing a wonderful history, this delightful Peugeot Bébé was purchased off the Paris Motor Show stand in 1902 by a Captain Kelly. Owned by Mr Bernard Wood of Whepstead, Suffolk in 1946, the car was acquired in May 1947 by Mr Kenneth Bowyer of Kirtling, Suffolk, who entered it for the third post-war London-Brighton Veteran Car Run, held in 1949. One of the accompanying photographs shows the car arriving in Brighton on Madeira Drive, and it can be seen that the condition is virtually the same as today, with perhaps a little more patina. The car has a very early VCC Certificate (No. 139) dated 24th February 1949.

    When Mr Bowyer died in 1988, his widow sold the Peugeot at an auction where it was bought by noted classic car racer and collector of important motor cars, Mr Neil Corner. Neil completed several Runs and during one of them demonstrated the Peugeot's speed by starting number '302' and finishing on Madeira Drive in 15th. The car was then acquired by Veteran and Vintage motor dealer Martin Chisholm, who completed two more London to Brighton Runs with it. The current enthusiast vendor then purchased 'A 1386' from Martin Chisholm, adding the car to his private collection in the summer of 2006.

    While in the vendor's care, the Bébé has completed five London to Brighton Runs, most recently in 2012, and is a past winner of the Regent Street Concours' 'Most Original Veteran' award. Kept in storage since the 2012 Run, the car nevertheless fired up first turn the other day.

    Nowadays many Veterans have to some extent been restored and made to look 'factory fresh'. This car, however, is different in the sense that it is one of the few that is completely original: paintwork, upholstery, engine, and even the toolbox! A trailer and a small number of tools come with it, while noteworthy features include Gamage-Nulites front lamps, an Otto rear lamp, and a serviceable canvas hood. The accompanying history file contains London to Brighton finishers' pennants (x5), two old-style continuation logbooks, assorted correspondence, expired MoTs, photocopied technical literature, a current V5C Registration Certificate, a selection of photographs, and a number of bills, most recently from noted specialist Arthur Archer. As well as the London to Brighton Run, this charming early Peugeot would be well suited to the VCC's many singles and twins events including the popular 'Creepy Crawly' Rally.


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