You can be forgiven for saying “what?” should anybody mention Malicet et Blin when you are discussing old cars as they are very rare indeed and as far as I know the Veteran Car Club is only aware of this 1903 8hp model and a 4hp vis-à-vis!
The company was founded in Paris in 1890 to manufacture bicycles but fairly soon moved into making a variety of mechanical components for cars including items such as gears, axles and steering boxes. They also made complete chassis which they sold to other car makers and in a short time became one of the largest suppliers of car components in Europe.
This particular car, on chassis number 6, comes with UK veteran Car Club dating certificate number 2146 which was issued in February 1997 and Belgian Veteran Car Club dating certificate number 1061 which was issued in November 1990. There is also a fascinating and very well ordered file which includes copies of early Malicet et Blin advertising material as well as technical data on this car and, helpfully, a set of very clear driving and maintenance instructions. There are also photographs of various stages of its lengthy restoration which were taken between it being in a derelict state in 1966 and its first rally in 1990!
The car is very sound and really well presented with good paintwork on the four seat rear entrance coachwork which wears smart upholstery and nice brasswork. The hand-crank started De Dion 8hp single cylinder engine fires up readily and settles down to a quiet steady tickover then delivers plenty of power out on the road so the car performs well. The clutch is light and smooth, Malicet et Blin’s own sliding gear three speed and reverse gearbox is very easy to use, the steering is precise and the brakes are up to the job so the car is a real pleasure to drive.
So here we have a very well documented rare and attractive four seat London to Brighton car with a good history of success in the event which can also take part in a large variety of old car events anywhere in Europe and the rest of the world. If you are looking for such a car I think you will find a visit to have a look at it will be time well spent.