1904 De Dion
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1904 De Dion Bouton 8hp Model V Coupé
Coachwork by Leon Molon, Le Havre
Registration no. R 7425
Engine no. 15432
This car was restored in the 1960s by the renowned De Dion specialist Mr R J Seaton of Bournemouth where it acquired the period Molon coupé body. It was dated by the VCC (Certificate No. 1208) on 02/09/64 and subsequently sold to VCC member Reg Taverner. Reg entered the car for all Brighton Runs from 1966 to 1988, which apart from one occasion it successfully completed. It was, however, withdrawn three times. During this period the car appeared at many VCC events and was also used for films, appearing in at least one episode of Upstairs Downstairs as well as other programmes for the BBC and ITV.
Upon Reg Taverner's death, the De Dion was purchased by the current vendor in September 1992, and has only had these two owners over the past 50 years. The VCC confirmed the car's 1904 date and Dating Certificate No. 1208 was reissued on 4th April 1993. 'R 7425' was then sent to Brentclass Restorations for extensive work on the engine, the gearbox being rebuilt and the transmission system overhauled at the same time, while two of the wheels were dismantled and reassembled with new felloes.
The car has entered and completed all London-Brighton runs from 1993 to 2010 bar two (pennants and medals on file). In some years it has been very convenient to raise the windows against the cold, and on some of the very wet Runs it has been possible to wear no more than a jacket and flannels. Throughout the same period 'R 7425' has been used regularly for VCC singles and twins events, most particularly the very popular 'Creepy Crawly'. Other events attended include tours of Brittany and the more demanding tour of Sky. In May 2000 the car entered the arduous re-enactment of the 1000-Mile Trial of 1900, which it completed entirely without assistance.
In 2009 the gearbox was removed to inspect the brake material (photograph on file) and only one Brighton Run and a few extra miles have been covered since its adjustment and reinstallation. The interior has recently been re-trimmed using Bedford cord and silk passementerie specifically manufactured on a Jacquard loom, while the interior mahogany trim was replaced using period timber. The paintwork is described as in generally good condition and the car comes with a complete set of lights, including very rare small opera lights. Offered with the aforementioned Dating Certificate, current MoT/tax and V5 registration document, 'R 7425' is entered in this year's London-Brighton Veteran Car Run and has a start number of '348'.