Chevallier 1100 Bol d’or Circa 1930

Lot 23
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Estimation :
120000 - 150000 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 126 000EUR
Chevallier 1100 Bol d’or Circa 1930
Chassis n°1 Engine no. 2945-DS French registration Prize list : 24-25 May 1931 Bol d'Or - category 1.100 race N°101 - 6th - 1111,080 km 24-27 July 1931 Meeting de Dieppe - category 1500 N°28 - 4th in class and 12th overall - 289.684km (36 laps) 6th September 1931 Grand Prix des Voiturettes de Monza N°30 - Retired after 1 lap 13th September 1931 Meeting des Routes Pavées - category 1.100 with compressor N°58 - non-starter (consequence of an engine failure at Monza?) 15th-16th May 1932 Bol d'Or - category 1.100 N°54 - retired before the halfway point 5th June 1932 Grand Prix de Picardie - category 1.100 N°43 - 5th - 1h 05min 50sec to cover the 15 laps and 144, 825km 26th June 1932 Grand Prix de Lorraine - N°84 - retired 28th May 1933 Circuit d'Orléans - race category (2nd series) N°6 - result unknown (not 1st) 4th-5th June 1933 Bol d'Or - category 1.100 race N°43 - more than 8th or retired, following a collision while in the lead 17th September 1933 Grand Prix de France des M.C.F - class 1100 with compressor to 1500 without compressor - N°16 - 7th 3 laps down 25th February 1934 Bol d'Or Qualifiers - N°2 - 1100 cars 20th-21st May 1934 Bol d'Or - category 1.100 race N°45 - 1st ex-aequo , 434 laps, 1814.120km, average speed 75.588km 3rd March 1935 Bol d'Or heats - N°6 18th-19th May 1935 Bol d'Or - category 1.100 race N°11 - 4th - 463 laps (calculated with the length of the circuit), 1939.157km Between the wars, France saw the birth of dozens of car brands. Some endured, others disappeared as quickly as they appeared. For the most part, they were the result of assembling parts that already existed, so it was more a question of assembly or optimisation than of real creative genius. In the midst of this motoring madness, where everyone thought they could do better than everyone else, there were a few brilliant craftsmen, like Lambert and Chevallier. His stated objective is clear : winning the Bol d'Or. He wasn't going to win on engine power, so he focused all his efforts on road holding. Two solutions, ahead of their time, were chosen for the design of the car: front-wheel drive and wheels with independent suspension. He was convinced that these solutions would give him a major advantage over his competitors. Paul Chevallier entered his first race at Bol d'Or in 1931. Paul Chevallier surely outclassed them all, creating a car entirely designed and built by himself, adopting technical solutions that were revolutionary for the time. This is the story of a modern “chevalier” (pardon the pun) and his creation. 
Veni Vidi Vici as the Romans say! Paul Chevallier tackles the creation of a racing car in the late 1920s. Zooming in on the traction system, the wheels are driven by half-shafts fitted with universal joints, designed by Chevallier. On the suspension side, each wheel is attached to a large lever arm which, on the wheel side, receives the steering pivot and universal joint by means of a fork, then articulates to the chassis by means of leaf springs. The DALILA cyclecar had already used this principle in the early 1920s, and it was later used on the 2CV. Legend said that while Chevallier was in good position, he broke a cardan shaft shell, because of a road accident the day before. Without missing a beat, Chevallier went back to his garage in Saint-Cloud, made a new shell, reinstalled it and started again at the eighth hour. He finished sixth (see L'auto 26 May 1931). All hopes were high and Chevallier had made a strong impression, with the press talking about him with great enthusiasm! He then participated in the Dieppe Grand Prix in July, where he raced in the under 1500cc category alongside the Bugatti and Lord Earl Howe's Delage Grand Prix 1500. Far from being ridiculous, he finished 4th ahead of the Bugatti ! Feeling (perhaps) that he was growing wings, he entered the Monza small car race on September the 6 of 1931, but the Italian romance quickly turned sour as he retired on the first lap. Fagioli in Maseratti won the race ahead of Borzacchini in Alfa and Varzi in Bugatti. The following week, he entered the Meeting des routes Pavées in the 1100 compressor category, but was announced as a non-starter, probably because the engine failure at Monza had not been completely repaired. No more glory at the Bol d'Or in mid-May 1932. He was suspected of carrying out secret tests at Montlhéry just after the 1932 Bol d'Or, as this delicious newspaper extract proves. The Grand Prix de Picardie et Lorraine and the Circuit d'Orléans followed with various results. The 1933 Bol d'Or started well... But it ended badly, with damages in the front end of the Chevallier while in the lead. He missed a golden opportunity and even if the Chevallier had improved over the years, it was already 3 years old, and other cars were evolving fast. On 17 September 1933, Chevallier took part in the Grand Prix de France organised by the MCF at the Montlhéry autodrome in the 1100 compressor/1500 class. The track was perhaps too good and he finished the race only at the 7th place. The 1934 Bol d'Or was certainly one of Chevallier's last chance of winning the coveted title. The Chevallier ran well in qualifying, which augured well for the rest of the race. The start of the race was less glorious and Chevallier was stuck behind Duray and Blot in their Amilcar C6 and Bodoignet in his Bugatti. Don’t forget, the Bol d'Or is a marathon (, it's a 24-hour race with only one driver!) and following the various retirements of the competitors in the lead, Chevallier had a three-lap lead over Maillard-Brune 15 minutes before the end of the race, so he had won the race! Then the tragedy happened: with 13 minutes to go, the public could no longer see Chevallier pass by! One valve broke down, he sat on the side of the road and thinking it was over. But the Bol d'Or is won by the number of laps covered, and Chevallier had a three-lap lead with 13 minutes to go. Despite all his efforts, Maillard-Brune failed to cross the finish line another time by just 10 seconds, and Chevallier and Maillard-Brune had exactly the same number of laps, so they were both declared winners ! With a bit of luck, but mostly with all a lot of perseverance, Chevallier succeeded in his bet. Paul Chevallier took part in the 1935 Bol d'Or for the last time, but his car could no longer compete, especially with Maillard-Brune's MG Magnette K3, although he finished at a decent 4th position. It was now the time to give his creation a well-deserved rest. At the end of the 60s, a Parisian collector came across Mr Chevallier’s advertising, who wanted to sell his famous car. Without an hesitation, the collector charged his son to go and collect the car in the West Parisian side. By this time, Mr Chevallier transformed his car into a two-seater, so it could be used in a more conventional way. They finished the rear bodywork together. The collector used the car for many years (Paris-Nice, Montlhéry, etc.) before selling it at auction. We were able to get his testimony, and he confirmed that the car was fitted with a Cozette number 7, which Chevallier had entrusted to him at the time of the sale. An enthusiast from the South of France then took possession of the car. He had the rear bodywork changed in the early 1990s to give it a more racing look, close to what it was looking as a single-seaters. He used it until the end of the 90s, when he broke the Ruby engine. At the time, no parts were available, so he sold the car to the current owner, who fitted an original Ruby block. Once again ready to drive, its fourth and last owner used the car very little. With only four owners, the Chevallier may have been forgotten by the majority, but it has always been cherished by its successive owners, each passing on a piece of French motor sport history. This car left its mark on pre-war French motoring in its own way. Following our research, it has its rightful place alongside the other great French brands, as it raced and won against them even though it was made by just one man. Long forgotten, we are proud to have been able to bring it to light, this French diamond richly deserved it. It's up to its next owner to restore the Chevallier legend to its former glory. The Chevallier today, almost unchanged since its creator's last modifications, with the exception of the tip. The engine keystrokes match numbers, and the Ruby DS is just waiting to find a number 7 Cozette compressor. Note the special exhaust pipe, home-made by Chevallier. The gearbox and steering linkages are a labyrinthine system. The front axle and gearbox assembly on the quadrangular chassis are clearly visible. The Chevallier today seen from the rear, with the Bordino tip made in the 90s in place of the Morgan rear. Thanks to vintage slides, we can confirm that the car still has its original steering wheel.
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