1912 Métallurgique 12 HP
Year of manufacture1912
1912 Métallurgique 12hp Cabriolet
Coachwork by Carrosserie Vanden Plas, Brussels
Registration no. TM 4148 (see text)
Chassis no. 15149
The Métallurgique took its name from parent company Société Anonyme la Métallurgique, a manufacturer of railway locomotives and rolling stock. Destined to become Belgium's foremost producer of sporting cars, Métallurgique built its first automobile - a Daimler-like twin-cylinder - in the late 1890s. More modern designs followed including, in 1906, the fabulous 60/80hp fast tourer equipped with a magnificent 100bhp, inlet-over-exhaust, four-cylinder engine. An innovative concern, Métallurgique adopted four-speed gearboxes for all its models before WWI, and four-wheel brakes immediately afterwards. Automobiles of high quality, the Vanden Plas-bodied Métallurgiques were much admired across the Channel, their success leading to Warwick Wright acquiring rights to the Vanden Plas name in the UK.
The company continued to build big, fast tourers after WWI, and added smaller sidevalve-engined models to the range. In the early 1920s it launched the Paul Bastien designed 12/15, a thoroughly modern fast tourer of high quality, which would underpin Métallurgique production until the company's car factory was sold to Impéria in 1927.
Offered here is an example of the very rare Métallurgique 12hp, a type that was first displayed in the UK (as a 1912 model) in November 1911 at the Olympia Motor Show. The car is powered by a 1.7-litre four-cylinder engine, which drives via a four-speeds-and-reverse gearbox. 'TM 4148' was acquired by the present owner at the 2016 Bonhams December Olympia sale for museum display. A change of layout means the car cannot be displayed and, rather than be isolated in long-term storage, the owner feels it should be enjoyed by a new owner. When Bonhams offered the car in 2016, it was being sold on behalf of the family who had acquired the car in 1988. It was understood to be first registered in the UK in 1913. The body was repainted in the 1960s and is nicely patinated; the hood has been replaced (date unknown) and the brightwork is in generally good condition. At present, the magneto is operational but would benefit from being rewound. Used sparingly in recent years and said to run and drive well, this delightful 'Edwardian' is offered with a copy VCC Dating Certificate, assorted correspondence, and a V5 registration document (expired).
This vehicle comes with a previous V5C document however if it should stay in the UK it may need re-registering, as it has recently resided abroad.