Clément Tricycle

1902 Clément Tricycle

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 14, 2015

Photo - Osenat

Photo – Osenat

Clément is a fairly well-known brand among early automobiles. We’ve documented the tangled history of some of Adolphe Clément-Bayard’s companies before and this is kind of a different branch. He founded Clément cycles in 1878 to build bicycles. Motorized bicycles and tricycles came in 1902 after he merged with Gladiator.

This tricycle is powered by a single-cylinder De Dion engine and it is a runner. Use it in the next London-to-Brighton run, if you wish. Clément Cycles morphed into part of Clément-Bayard in 1903 and vehicles like this pretty much disappeared from the automotive landscape shortly thereafter. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $39,900.

Three Turn-of-the-Century Cars

Three Veteran Automobiles

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 14, 2015


1899 Bruneau Quadricycle

Photo - Osenat

Photo – Osenat

Bruneau is a very rare manufacturer of early motorcycles, tricycles, and but a handful of quadricycles. Based in Tours, France, very little is known about this marque other than where they were located and what they built. The company existed as early as 1899 and lasted at least up until the outbreak of WWI.

This car is powered by the ubiquitous De Dion single-cylinder engine and features a vis-à-vis seating arrangement. The family of the original owner of this vehicle sold it to the current owner in the 1960s. This is a two-owner car from 1899. It is thought only three of these were built and this is the only one left. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $45,600.


1901 Phébus Quadricycle

Photo - Osenat

Photo – Osenat

Noé Boyer was the director of a branch of Clément-Gladiator – Noé Boyer et Cie – and it would appear that his company built eerily similar quadricycles as those that Clément was putting out. It’s got a bicycle seat in the rear for the driver and the passenger sits in the compartment out front… to act as both windshield and front bumper.

This is powered by a single-cylinder De Dion engine. Phébus built quadricycles up to 1903, when they stopped producing vehicles altogether. But at the same time these primitive cars were on sale, the company was also selling the more traditional Phébus-Aster. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $59,280.


1902 Clément Tricycle

Photo - Osenat

Photo – Osenat

Clément is a fairly well-known brand among early automobiles. We’ve documented the tangled history of some of Adolphe Clément-Bayard’s companies before and this is kind of a different branch. He founded Clément cycles in 1878 to build bicycles. Motorized bicycles and tricycles came in 1902 after he merged with Gladiator.

This tricycle is powered by a single-cylinder De Dion engine and it is a runner. Use it in the next London-to-Brighton run, if you wish. Clément Cycles morphed into part of Clément-Bayard in 1903 and vehicles like this pretty much disappeared from the automotive landscape shortly thereafter. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $39,900.

1903 Clement

1903 Clement 12/16HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 1, 2013

1903 Clement 12-16HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Here is yet another vehicle (from yet another marque) that can be traced back to Adolphe Clement-Bayard. If you’re keeping score at home, please let me know how many this makes, because I’ve lost count. That mustachioed Frenchman sure had a knack for starting car companies.

Clement began producing cars in 1899. Between then and 1903, they were sold under the Clement and Clement-Gladiator names. In 1903, they became known as Clement-Bayard. Clement-Talbot and that whole story is separate from these companies (although very closely related).

Anyway, this car was sold new to a Spaniard named Don Francisco Serramalera Abadal. He was a major automotive importer and salesman who sold mainly French cars to wealthy clients. He would produce cars under his own name in the 1910s. He managed to win a hillclimb in this car in 1904 (so it does have “competition history”). The restoration is about 40 years old and the flimsy-looking wooden top is removable to turn this into a nice roadster.

The engine is a 2.1-liter straight-four making 12/16 horsepower. This Clement is from the final year of Clement production (of the four short years they were available). It is very nice, even though the restoration is older, and should bring a still-big price. The estimate is between $480,000-$640,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ London auction catalog.

Update: Sold $569,937.

1910 Gladiator

1910 Gladiator 12/14hp Type P Series 51 Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Hendon, U.K. | April 30, 2912

The Gladiator Cycle Company was founded in 1891 by Alexandre Darracq and Paul Aucoq. From here the history of the marque becomes complicated: in 1896 Darracq sold the company to a group of Britons including Harvey du Cros. Darracq then went on to found the automobile company that bore his name. Meanwhile, Gladiator merged with Clément Cycles – which was founded by Adolphe Clément. The Clément-Gladiator company built it’s first car in 1896. In 1903, Adolphe Clément resigned to start Clément-Bayard and build cars of his own.

Gladiator produced cars under the name “Gladiator,” as well as “Clément,” simultaneously.  At the same time, Adolphe Clément began selling his new, French-built Clément-Bayards in England under the name Clément-Talbot. There were other Clément-dash-somethings as well, but we won’t go into them now.

The car featured here is a 12/14hp Type P and it features a four-cylinder engine and a four/five seat coachbuilt body by Fred W. Baker Ltd of Stourbridge. It looks nice and has a detailed ownership history. There were so many automobile marques that didn’t last too terribly long and I find them all pretty interesting. Quite a few still have examples extant, while countless marques have been lost to time. The Gladiator marque ceased production in 1920.

The pre-sale estimate is $40,000-$48,000. For the complete catalog description, click here and to see the rest of Bonhams offerings for the RAF Museum in Hendon, click here.

Update: Did not sell.