Darracq Car

This is a model of a 1902 Darracq single cylinder 1800cc car that ran in the 2006 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

It is powered by a Meccano 3–6V motor with worm gearing using a forward/reverse control lever.

Alexandre Darracq’s Gladiator bicycles made him a fortune in the 1890s and his ‘Perfecta’ works was one of the largest in Paris. He marketed the first successful Darracq motorcar in 1900, it having a vertical front-mounted single-cylinder engine and shaft-drive. Over 700 were sold in the first year. Darracqs offered good value for money and a range of single, twin and four-cylinder cars soon followed.

In 1903 the firm innovativety adopted the one-piece pressed-sheet chassis that was strong and relatively lightweight. Alexandre understood the value of publicity and pursued a vigorous and successful policy of motor racing and record braking.

In 1914 Darracq was the third Largest French car manufacturer after Renault and Peugeot. Aged 56 Darracq retired from his firm in 1912 to live in Monte Carlo. The Darracq Company acquired the English firms of Talbot and Sunbeam, forming the STD combine in 1920, from which the Darracq name disappeared before the Second World War.

Darracq is a well-known name in the veteran car world, since it is the make of Genevieve, star of the 1953 film.

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