1911 Delaunay Belleville HB4.
Chassis number: 3783
Registration number KS594
Just one hundred of these magnificent cars were built during the years 1911 to 1912 & only three are known to survive. This particular model in number 10 out of the first batch of 25 produced. The other known chassis are 3953 and 4302. This particular model was rescued from years of inactivity in a Dutch Museum.
This car has over the last 7 years undergone a huge restoration to bring it to the condition we find it in today. The coachwork is a direct copy of that found on an HB6 model & is very Edwardian in appearance with its high back & rear pram hood. The burgundy paint is in splendid condition & looks ravishing offset by the wonderful brass & copper-work. All seating surfaces are in leather & in "as new" condition. An original Z profile windscreen comes with the car but my opinion is that to fit it would be sacrilege & against everything such a car is about.
The engine has had a major overhaul including stripping the valves, honing the bores, new pistons, work to the con rods, new little end bushes, big ends scraped & checked, new Gudgeon pins, etc etc. At the same time a classic oil pump was fitted raising the oil pressure from the factory spec of 5PSI up to around 20 PSI making for excellent lubrication. An electric starter is fitted for those lacking the moral fiber to start the car on the handle as its makers intended. As a result of the above work the engine is in tip top order starting readily & pulling strongly in all four gears through the excellent gear box. Reverse incidentally is found by going into first & then further forwards until reverse is found. Delage used a similar arrangement. New king pins have also been fitted making for reasonably direct steering.
Driving the car is pleasure in itself & very akin to an early Silver Ghost. The car wafts one down the road in silence with effortless torque from the 4.0 litre four cylinder engine; so smooth is the engine that you would be forgiven for mistaking it as a six. The view over the circular bonnet is spectacular with brass fixtures & fittings festooned upon the front wherever one looks. The front BRC acetylene lamps alone are works of art & would sell for at least £8000 for the pair; these are augmented by a pair of brass Lucas 700 series lamps. A brass snail type Parp Parp horn is fitted to the bulkhead to satisfy those with the inherent tendencies of Mr Toad. It is difficult to convey what a wonderful driving experience this car gives as it is hard to describe in words the sensation of power & unruffled motive force accorded by the engine.
Detachable patented (1907) Dunlop wheels are fitted to the 4 corners, mounted on artillery style spokes. Braking to the rear wheels only is "adequate" particularly when used in conjunction with the hand brake. Suspension is excellent giving a compliant ride. To quote from the 1912 Road test carried out by "The Motor": "The springing of the chassis is very good indeed & although we ourselves did not ride in the back, some highly critical passengers who did described the car as being most comfortable."
The car may be viewed by prior appointment in Kent.
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Office 01442 236711
Richard Biddulph 07967 260673
Adi 07853 226940
Tom 07909 857377
We accept Credit/Debit Cards.
Part Exchange welcome.
Weekend & evening viewings OK.