Fernand Charron, Leonce Girardot & Emile Voigt were racing motorists who opened one of the first car agencies in Paris in 1897 selling, amongst other makes, Panhard-Levassor cars which they also raced successfully. At the Paris Salon in 1901 they exhibited their first “CGV” motor car which was a high quality machine specifically aimed at, and taken up by, wealthy motorists of the day.What looks very much like an original 1905 CGV catalogue in the file includes letters of recommendation from satisfied customers and lists over two hundred buyers from the cream of European and American society. The names include the king of Portugal and the French president as well as princes, princesses, grand dukes, barons, marquises, counts and English lords alongside famous names such as Rothschild, Vanderbilt, Astor, Gordon Bennett, Bleriot, Andre Michelin, and Maurice Hennessy so CGVs were clearly recognised as being one of “the” cars to own.
This particular car, number 2054 was the 50th Model H made in 1904 and was supplied new to Olry Roederer of champagne house Louis Roederer of Chateau De Souvilly. The car comes with the identity plate engraved with Olry Roederer’s name and address which it was obliged to display under a French law dating from 1899. The House of Roederer, founded in 1776, was granted the title of ‘Official Purveyor to the Imperial Court of Russia in recognition of the quality of their champagnes and is very highly regarded to this day.
This superb motor car is powered by a 4 cylinder 6.2 litre T head two cam side valve engine and has a four speed and reverse gearbox which drives the rear axle through twin side mounted chains. It carries 4/5 seater coachwork which also has 2 additional folding seats in the rear and it has successfully carried seven people to Brighton on more than one occasion.
The car, which has VCC dating certificate number 2040, was acquired by a very well known English veteran car collector soon after it emerged from long-term French ownership in 1968. By this time it wore a 1911 open touring body which the new owner decided to replace with the very handsome Roi de Belges coachwork which it carries to this day. It does look quite similar to a 25hp double phaeton with Carrosserie Dumond coachwork shown in the in the 1905 CGV catalogue so perhaps it is reasonable to assume that it was modelled on one of these.
There is an extensive set of files with the car which contain many original documents as well as copies of period catalogues and articles on CGV in general and this car in particular. There is also a very informative article on the car which the owner wrote for Veteran and Vintage magazine in 1974 which tells you a great deal about it. In addition there is an enjoyable 35 page illustrated report written by motoring historian Malcolm Jeal which documents a journey he and the CGV’s owner made in October 1998 when they drove it from Dieppe to Rouen then on to Paris and finally back to Dieppe over a five day period.
The file also contains many invoices for work done over the years including some very reassuring bills from Nigel Parrott at NPV Engineering.
It is difficult describe this car without repeating a series of superlatives – suffice to day it is simply magnificent every respect. Large powerful Brighton cars do not come on the market very often so this CGV offers a discerning buyer a unique opportunity to enjoy 111 year old grand touring at its very best.
We are inviting sensible offers which reflect the value of this rare and powerful London to Brighton car