Chassis no: 551
Registration: BS 8436
Vintage and Prestige are proud to offer this 1897 Léon Bollée 2hp Tanden Two Seater For Sale.
Registration: BS 8436
Chassis no: 551
Engine no: 551
Perhaps reacting against his father’s total commitment to steam transport, young Léon Bollée saw greater potential in the internal combustion engine and designed his first such powered vehicle, a tandem two-seater, three-wheeler as early as 1895.
Production was based at Le Mans and the single-cylinder, air-cooled, engine was offered in two versions developing either 2hp or 3hp, giving these machines an amazingly fast turn of speed. Three forward speeds were standard and the tubular frame owed much to bicycle manufacturing methods.
Bollée’s significant invention in this machine was the driving wheel axle carried by levers pivoted on the frame of the vehicle, allowing the movement of the axle backwards or forwards to increase or release belt tension for gear changing. The engine was mounted horizontally with radiating cooling ribs and ignition was by hot tube, using an oil-fired burner, a similar system to that of Panhard-Levassor. Contemporary motor racing driver, Charles Jarrott, in his standard work, ‘Ten Years of Motors and Motor Racing’ referred to the presence of Léon Bollées at the start of the 1896 London to Brighton Run as follows -
“Léon Bollée was there, with a small fleet of those extraordinary little machines invented by him, which always, to my mind resembled land torpedoes more than anything else.” Léon and father Amédee Bollée and H.O. Duncan were to drive these vehicles in this landmark event. In 1897 Léon Bollées won The Motorcycle Cup, a major race organised and sponsored by ‘La France Automobile’, then as now qualifying for both motorcycle and car events. The Paris-Amsterdam Race, held in the same year, was won by Jamin on a Bollée, extraordinarily covering 170km in 4 hours and 13 minutes.
Today Léon Bollées are accepted for both the LBVCR and the equally prestigious Sunbeam M.C.C. Pioneer Run to Brighton. The late Sammy Davis, founder of the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain, was an energetic Léon Bollée driver and today they have a distinct appeal to more sporting sorts.
This car carries a VCC dating plate recording the date of manufacture as 1897, per VCC Dating Certificate no. 2507, and also a Pioneer Certificate No 1768, making it eligible for all of the key veteran runs.
The condition of this Leon Bollee is great with all metalwork and wood being original. The leather is a beautifully patinated greed hide.
The spray carburettor is the original Phenix, a well working early device. The 3-speed gearbox is in good condition and working well.
This Leon Bollee carries a charming patina, which is more and more appreciated the further you look. Oily rag machines of this era are scarce and especially the pre-1900 vehicles are hard to come by. The paperwork includes British registration documents, VCC dating certificate with decision notes, Pioneer certificate, copy of the old French registration certificates and various photocopies and photos.
The only deviation from the original is the replacement of the hot-tube ignition by a trembler coil and spark plug. The Leon Bollee runs on a 6 volt trembler coil.
This extremely early tricycle is a delight to ride and will be able to cover long distances (and hills) without any difficulties. In our showroom and ready for viewing.
The last Photograph in our gallery shows one Charles Rolls, later of the eponymous motor firm driving such a machine. It is interesting to note that on the first London to Brighton run the first two vehicles to arrive in Brighton were three wheelers of this type!!!
Office 01375 379719
Richard Biddulph 07967 260673
Christoff Cowens 07772188037
We accept Credit/Debit Cards.
Part Exchange welcome.
Weekend & evening viewings OK.
Viewings by appointment :
9 Globe Industrial Estate,
Grays, Essex, RM17 6ST
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