1931 Chenard & Walcker

Almost forgotten in the history of the automobile, Chenard & Walcker enjoys one accomplishment that will never be equaled let alone surpassed: it was the winning marque in the very first 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1923. In the mid-Twenties it was the fourth largest auto manufacturer in France. Later in the 20's Chenard & Walcker were represented at Le Mans by a series of aerodynamic open cars usually described as "tanks" because of their resemblance to the First World War battle wagons. Their enclosed wheels, semi-envelope bodies and recessed headlights extracted maximum performance from their 1,495cc overhead valve engines on the long straights of the Sarthe circuit and inspired a series of road cars with even more streamlined bodies in the following years. This is one of those rare examples of the French competition to build efficient racing cars. Finished in blue with red leather upholstery, its distinctive vee-shaped sloped grille folds forward for access. The engine is accessed through hatches atop the flat hood. Cockpit air intake vents and the fuel filler top the cowl while the sides have narrow aluminum running boards. In addition to the Marchal headlights there is a pair of driving lights behind the grille. The interior has a wood dashboard and woodrim steering wheel, chrome steering column and Jaeger instruments. Very nicely presented, this is a highly unusual automobile, a rare and sporting example of an important but now nearly forgotten early French manufacturer. It will provide hours of entertainment for an owner who appreciates the truly distinctive and unusual.

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