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XXI – Chenard & Walcker, the expert’s report (1)

The easiest way to get a good understanding of the situation is to publish the report of the expert Mario Montanaro. Here is the first part below explaining what objectives were set for the expert.


JWA Classic (editor’s note: the name of the workshop at the time has been replaced by the current name) commissioned me, on February 5, 2012, to carry out the appraisal of a vehicle acquired by JWA Classic in September 2012 and presented as a Type G Chenard & Walcker, dating from 1904.

I was asked to answer three questions:

  • Can the vehicle be considered to be of 1904 vintage?
  • Is the vehicle a G-type vehicle?
  • Is it possible to find traces of its history?

This expert mission took place from 12 to 14 April 2012.

This report has two main parts.

The first describes the conditions under which the examination and study of the vehicle was carried out and the details of the approach that was taken.

The second part answers the three questions above in turn, listing and detailing the arguments.

The final part contains a discussion of the arguments presented, their synthesis and my conclusions.

Part I: Background and Approach

1.    Description of the vehicle

On 12 April 2012 I was presented with a Chenard & Walcker vehicle that may date from the early 1900s.

Its body is a “double phaeton” with a burgundy coloured side entrance, topped by a canopy. The paint is cracked and peeling in several places.

It is equipped with a longitudinally arranged in-line 4-cylinder engine.

Its driving position is on the right-hand side of the vehicle. On the right hand side is the gearbox lever with four gears and a reverse gear as well as the hand brake control. The steering wheel has only two pedals.

 According to the documentation submitted, this vehicle was sold to JWA Classic on 3 September 2010 by the company XXXXX.

2.    Method of examination and analysis

I first carried out a detailed examination of the vehicle in order to document all the mechanical components, as well as all the structural and bodywork details, by taking pictures from different angles.

I also dismantled the engine when necessary. I had to open the engine to check the displacement or to dismantle the canopy to date its installation etc.

In addition to the examination of the vehicle and the logical findings based on concrete observation, I have endeavoured to refer to period documents or documents recognised for their technical and historical qualities in order to best date the elements observed and to define the type attached.

The reference material used for this review is as follows:

  • La Vie Automobile of …. 1905 (p 163 to 168)
  • La France Automobile of June 1904 (p 378 to 393)
  • “Chenard & Walcker, l’Empire disparu de Gennevilliers” by Claude Rouxel, Jacques Dorizon, Marc Clouzet and François Vauvilliers – 19… – Editions …

I also interviewed Mr T. M., Mr Laporte’s former mechanic, who had worked on a very similar vehicle in the years 1993 to 1995.

(To be continued…)

And don’t forget to have a look at the “soft auctions” in progress