Lot 105

London 2016

1897 Vallée Vis-à-Vis


£85,120 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom Flag | London, United Kingdom



Engine No.
J ES 1899
Proof of EC Taxes Paid
  • Formerly of the renowned Henri Malartre collection
  • Refreshed original condition
  • VCC-dated; eligible for London-to-Brighton
  • An excellent choice for Veteran car events

4 hp, 2,230 cc horizontal side-valve two-cylinder engine with automatic intake, three-speed belt drive, tubular front axle assembly with cantilever coil-spring suspension, stub rear axle shafts with semi-elliptical leaf springs and double chain final drive, and two-wheel mechanical hand brake plus transmission foot brake. Wheelbase: 1,550 mm

Henri Vallée worked on the massive steam coach that Amadée Bollée built for the Marquis du Broc in 1885 and set up his own firm at Le Mans to make bicycles in 1890. Five years later, he built a tube-chassis car powered by a two-cylinder horizontal engine of his own manufacture. It was exhibited at the 1895 Cycle Salon in Paris. The following year brought two new models, a four-seat vis-à-vis and a four-seat Victoria.

In 1897, he was turning out automobiles of three-, four-, five-, and seven-horsepower, but by 1902, sales of Vallée cars had fallen, so Sté des Automobiles Vallée withdrew to motorcycle manufacture for several years before winding down.

The car offered here is one of the four-horsepower models. Reportedly one of only two Vallées known to survive, it was part of the renowned Henri Malartre collection in Lyon until 1970. Today it remains in exceedingly original condition, but for a repaint in green and new black canvas. It also features Bleriot brass lighting and yellow wire wheels.

The Veteran Car Club (VCC) of Great Britain dated this car as 1897, according to certificate number 1364, issued in 1974. Thus, it is eligible for the prestigious London-to-Brighton event as well as other Veteran car activities, and it would be an excellent early entrant on the tour to Brighton!