Tuesday, 15 July 2014

1907 DARRACQ 10/12hp


Dealer:  Gavin McGuire, Tandridge, Surrey 

Tel: 01892770310 or 07770 316482, E-mail: gavin.mcguire@virgin.net

1907 DARRACQ 10/12 hp
Early Darracqs have always impressed people with the way they perform. This lovely Veteran Car Club dated twin cylinder model is no exception and even stands up well against a few four cylinder Edwardians I have driven. 

The car has been totally dismantled and rebuilt by its owner who is a well known VCC member. As well as documenting the work done he took pictures of every stage of the process which are stored a CD. I will be happy to show you this when you come to see the car.
It now has an electric starter which, as well as making it easier to fire up the engine on a cold day, also makes it much more useable in traffic – stalling a hand-started 106 year old engine at the front of a queue of impatient modern car drivers is never a pleasant experience! It has also been fitted with an electric fuel pump so you don’t suffer from fuel starvation when climbing steep hills as you can with many cars with low set gravity-feed fuel tanks. 
Once it has warmed up the rebuilt engine sounds good and pulls very well. The gearbox which, on inspection was found to have some wear on the intermediate gears but is otherwise serviceable, works well. The ratios are nicely spaced so you can get up to fair quite a rate of knots in second before going into the relatively high top gear which gives a decent cruising speed. The steering is also good as are the brakes so you are able to enjoy the car’s performance.
The attractively styled swing seat tonneau coachwork, which is obviously of relatively recent construction, is sound and the upholstery is very smart. The paintwork is more workmanlike than concours but is presentable and at least you can use the car without worrying that people will leave their fingerprints all over it at either at shows or in the supermarket car park (and why should you not drive it to the supermarket – it is after all a motor car originally designed to be used as transport).  
All in all it is a very useable and attractive twin cylinder car which has been nicely restored and also fitted with a couple of discreet modern extras which make it just that bit more useable without detracting from how it drives. Darracq twins are often quite a bit smaller than other similar cars and you will find it performs very well as a result. Being a 1907 10 hp twin cylinder also lets it into the more specialist early Edwardian car events

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