Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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1901. Darracq 6.5 hp. Reg No: BS 8241.
September 1902.
November 1902.
January 1903.
January 1903.
January 1903.
February 1903.
May 1903.
May 1903. Darracq 20 h.p.
May 1903. Darracq 40 h.p. Light car.
May 1903. Darracq 40 h.p. Light car using alcohol.
May 1904.
November 1904.
February 1905.
September 1905.
September 1905.
September 1905.
September 1905.
September 1905.
March 1906.
November 1906.
November 1906. 20-32 h.p.
December 1906.
1906. 20-32 h.p. car.
1906 Q4. 100hp.
1906 Q4.
1906 Q4. 10-12hp.
1906 Q4. 10-12hp.
1906 Q4. 20-28hp.
Published in 1906.
1906. 8-cylinder. Attained the speed of 122.5 mph. Published in 1906.
December 1906.
November 1907.
November 1907. 18 h.p.
April 1908.
April 1908.
April 1908. Advert in French.
November 1908. 14-16 h.p.
1909. 35 hp motor.
1909. 100-hp engine.
1909. 30-hp 2-cylinder.
October 1909.
November 1909.
November 1909.
November 1909.
November 1909.
November 1909.
July 1910.
July 1910.
July 1910.
December 1910. Darracq 15-hp frame construction.
November 1911.
March 1912.
August 1912.
1914. Clegg 16 hp.
1926. TL. Photo taken c 1936.
1926. TL. Owned by Bill Clark.
Photo at the 2009 LBVCR.
Photo at the 2009 LBVCR.
Photo at the 2009 LBVCR.
Rear-entrance tonneau, Single-cylinder, 6.5 h.p. Reg No: BH 92. Photo at the 2009 LBVCR.
Tonneau, Twin-cylinder, 12 h.p. Reg No: 860 EXT 95. Photo at the 2009 LBVCR.
May 1913.
March 1919.
June 1923. 12 and 15 hp models.
November 1926.
Imported into the UK in 1938. Figoni bodied T23 (4 litre).
Chassis badge of the Figoni bodied T23.

Vehicle manufacturers, of Suresnes, France, and of Coleman Street, London.

Automobiles Darracq S.A. was a French motor vehicle manufacturing company founded in 1896 by Alexandre Darracq. [1]

Using part of the substantial profit he had made from selling his Gladiator bicycle factory, Alexandre Darracq began operating from a plant in the Parisian suburb of Suresnes. The company started by building electric motor carriages until 1900 when they produced their first vehicle with an internal combustion engine engine to a Léon Bollée design. This was not a success and in early 1901 they launched a single cylinder 6.5 hp light car designed by Paul Ribeyrolles. This was Darracq’s first successful model.

In 1902, Alexandre Darracq signed a contract with Adam Opel to jointly produce vehicles in the German Empire under the brand name Opel Darracq.

In late 1902, a consortium of London financial interest led by Alfred Rawlinson initiated a takeover of Darracq resulting in the creation in early 1903 of A. Darracq and Co. Ltd. Alexandre Darracq was managing director and the chairman was JS Smith-Winby. [2]

1904 The Darracq automobile company prospered and the 1904 "Famous Fifteen" was a production model of exceptional quality that helped the company capture a ten percent share of the French auto market.

1905 Three years later, the company expanded to Britain, incorporating the A. Darracq Company (1905) Limited with a capitalization of £650,000. The company was registered on 17 November, to take over the motor manufacturing business of a company of almost similar title. [3]

1905 Ribeyrolles designed a 22.4 litre V8 with ohv which took the Land Speed Record on a public road at Arles with a speed of 108.5 mph. This brilliant engine can be considered as the ancestor of all subsequent V8s. The car later proved capable of 120 mph and can be seen in VSCC events. [4]

1906 Produced 8-10 hp. (two-cylinder), 8 hp. (single-cylinder), 10 hp. (two-cylinder), 15 hp. and 20-32 h.p. (both four-cylinder) shaft-drive cars. [5]

1911 Directory lists them as Darracq A. & Co. (1905) Ltd. Orpheus Street, Camberwell, London SE and as motor car manufacturers. [6]

In the summer of 1912, following the failure of a range of new models incorporating a rotary valve under Henriod patents, Alexandre Darracq resigned and retired from the motor industry, having earlier taken the precaution of unloading his shares. The controlling British financial interests recruited Owen Clegg who relocated to the Paris headquarters to take over as the chief engineer of the company, with Walter Hopkins as general manager. During World War I, the Darracq factory was converted to the production of various war materials. [7]

1913 A. Huntley Walker was Managing Director and Norman Craig became Chairman.

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices see the 1917 Red Book.

During World War I, the Darracq factory was converted to the production of various war materials.

1914 Listed as motor car manufacturers, their speciality being Darracq motors. [8]

1918 Expansion of share capital to fund the acquisition of a substantial interest in Heenan and Froude construction engineers of Worcester and Manchester[9].

1919 Directory lists them as Darracq, A. and Co. (1905) Ltd. Brill Street, Fulham, London SW6 and as motor car manufacturers. [10]

1919 Darracq took over Clement Talbot including the British Talbot and Talbot models. Cars built at at Suresnes were then marketed as Talbot-Darracq[11].

1920 Acquired motor car spring business of Jonas Woodhead and Sons of Leeds[12].

1920 Merged with the Sunbeam Motor Car Co of Wolverhampton. Name of company changed to S. T. D. Motors Ltd[13].

1920 The first annual meeting of the company under its new name S. T. D. Motors Ltd. [14]

1920-1922 Cars built at Suresnes, and early examples of the 8hp built by London Talbot, were badged as Talbot-Darracq.

1923 - 1934 Suresnes built cars, now called Talbot in France, that continued to be imported into GB badged as Darracq. The Darracq works in Acton built bodies for the other STD marques, chiefly Talbot from Ladbroke Grove.

1935 When Rootes took over Sunbeam and Talbot following the bankruptcy of STD Motors, Anthony Lago, backed by British financiers, used an option he held to buy the plant at Suresnes. Cars built there were eventually called Talbot-Lago, but up to 1939 they continued to be badged as Darracq if imported into GB to avoid infringing Rootes Group's right to the Talbot name in GB.[15]

Early Registrations



See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Wikipedia
  2. 'Motoring Entente' by Ian Nickols and Kent Karslake, 1956, Wyman and Sons
  3. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  4. 'Motoring Entente' by Ian Nickols and Kent Karslake, 1956, Wyman and Sons
  5. The Automobile Vol. III. Edited by Paul N. Hasluck and published by Cassell in 1906.
  6. Post Office London Location Suburbs Directory, 1911.
  7. 'Motoring Entente' by Ian Nickols and Kent Karslake, 1956, Wyman and Sons
  8. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  9. The Times, 23 December 1918
  10. 1919 Post Office London Location Suburbs Directory
  11. The Times, 10 March 1924
  12. The Times, 10 March 1924
  13. The Times, 10 March 1924
  14. The Times, Saturday, 18 December 1920
  15. 'Motoring Entente' by Ian Nickols and Kent Karslake, 1956, Wyman and Sons