By way of introduction this interesting little car is summarised in the Veteran Car Club Dating Advisory Committee's very recent Vehicle Identification and Dating Opinion Report as a being a 1901 De Dion-Bouton-engined quadrilette.
They have justifuably described it as such because they didn’t have evidence that motor cycle and tri-car manufacturer Bruneau of Tours in France made a four wheel vehicle but it does carry a very original looking Bruneau manufacturer’s badge so we have decided to call it Bruneau in the way that many very old cars are just referred to by their name (e.g. Genevieve!).
The well-researched VCC report is worth reading as it tells you a lot about Bruneau’s structure and mechanicals but what it doesn’t tell you (and should not be expected to) is what great fun it is to drive – as you can imagine I spend a fair bit of time in ancient motor cars but there is nothing quite so invigorating as driving a basic light weight machine where you are totally involved in everything it does.
Bruneau has clearly been very nicely put together and out on the road feels very solid. It is quite surprising how well a 327cc 2.75 hp single cylinder engine car can go and being so light the combination of a lever operated rear wheel brake with a pedal operated transmission brake is better than you might expect though attention to the road ahead is advised at all times!
The clutch is light and smooth, its two speed epicyclic gearbox is easy to use, the steering is good with very little play so the car tracks nicely even on uneven surfaces and is a pleasure to drive.
There is not a lot more to say other than if you want an affordable veteran car which will put a smile on your face then please come and have a look for yourself!