This splendid 12hp twin cylinder Darracq is, by chance, the first Brighton Run car I ever sold when I first got involved in the fascinating world of old car motoring some 20 years ago.
At that time it was owned by noted veteran car engineer Robbie Jardine and comes with a comprehensive set of correspondence between him and the Veteran Car Club which resulted in it being issued with VCC dating certificate number 2015. The file also includes contemporary photographs of the car when it had a very simple body which I gathered at the time had been fitted to make the Darracq into a hack for use by a gardener on a local estate!
The gentleman who bought it through me set about a major restoration of the car which included having a new coach built body made for it, since which time it has nicely mellowed and looks very correct and any inspection will show that no expense was spared on this project.
The car has a twin camshaft two cylinder engine which has been fitted with an electric starter for ease of use though you can still swing start it if you like. Its swept volume is approximately 1,900 cc and, relatively rarely for the time, it has mechanically operated inlet and exhaust valves – this arrangement gives much greater control over inlet valve timing than atmospheric valves which results in more power and a wider range of useable engine revs.
It has a very easy to use conventional three speed and reverse gear operated in typical Darracq style by a horizontal lever set in a quadrant just below the steering wheel. The clutch is light and smooth and quiet gear changes soon become second nature.
This is a very impressive veteran car which is in very presentable condition. It drives well, is comfortable to ride in and has a reassuringly solid and reliable feel about it. It has been a regular London to Brighton runner in the past and should continue to provide many good Runs for its new owner. As a twin cylinder car it is eligible also for Creepy Crawly rallies as well as the wide variety of other veteran car events which take place here in the UK as well as in Europe and indeed worldwide.