Darracq “Phaeton” – 1898
Alexander Darracq was born in Bordeaux in 1855 and he was one of the fathers of the French automobile industry, one of the first entrepreneurs who believed in its potentials. After selling the “Gladiator” bicycle brand, Darracq founded the Usines Perfecta to build bicycle and car parts; to start the car production he bought an already-made project developed by Lèon Bollée, another French designer from the early days of motoring. In the early 1900s, several European manufacturers used Darracq patents to build their cars and Darracq started several enterprises outside France (in Italy he founded the Darracq Italiana from which A.L.F.A. will later born).
The frame shown in the Museum is the first 4- wheeler Darracq project powered by a Bollée engine and probably originally fitted with a phaeton body from which it takes the model name. It is interesting to notice the chassis with central beam, unusual at the time, and the steering wheel central position (with the driver sitting on the left).
They made three different copies, but this is the only one remained.
Shooting, Calze Levante, Darracq