Unique coachwork by Le Bastard for 1951 Tour de France cycle race
This one-off Salmson S4E was bodied in 1950 by Rouen coachbuilder Le Bastard for the journalists of Ouest-France to use to follow the 1951 Tour de France. Well-known amongst marque enthusiasts and described in the excellent Salmson – La belle mécanique française by Claude and Laurent Chevalier (ETAI), it was found in the south-west of France in July 2013 by its current owner, who had been hunting for it for several years. “It was in dreadful condition because of how badly it had been stored,” he told magazine La Vie de l’Auto in August 2015. Being used as a playground for farmyard hens was certainly a long way removed from the Salmson’s glory days! Fortunately a thorough restoration has put things to rights. The body has been completely refurbished and the seats re-trimmed. The engine, which was in no better than average order, was entirely rebuilt in 2017 by Méca-Précis of Châtillon-sur-Indre. Crankshaft, flywheel, pistons and liners, con-rods, valves, cylinder head – everything received the necessary attention, in an operation costing more than 10,000€. More recently there has been some detail work on the body and the hood fabric has been replaced.
The factory archives confirm that it was indeed the best-selling French daily newspaper that ordered the 13CV S4E chassis from the Société des moteurs Salmson (SMS) for bodying by Le Bastard, one of the best-known creators of publicity vehicles for the Tour de France. The brief was simple: a car that could comfortably accommodate four people and their radio and film equipment while following what the French call ‘La Grande Boucle’.
Voted Best of Show at the 18th Valescure défilé d’élégance and winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 13th Avignon Motor Festival concours d’élégance, this unique and historically significant machine is pleasant to drive and comfortable, making it perfect transport for relaxed motoring on the by-ways of France.
This car will be sold during an auction sale organized by AGUTTES Auction House.
It will take place in Paris, at the Espace Champerret, France, on March the 17th, 2019.
The digital catalog is available on our website
Please contact us for any further details.
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