This Georges Richard UNIC Type J 3, as offered by Classic Park, also known as Torpedo, is produced between 1919 and 1920. Typical detail for cars made between 1910 and 1920 is the brass petrol tank. The engine was very special, as it featured a four-cylinder side valve engine with a cast iron cylinder head. The engine produces 10 horsepower and has a vertical carburettor, a conical leather clutch and a thermo-chiffon cooling system. Another fun fact: the shock absorbers are made of canvas belts, rolled up in iron drums. This Georges Richard UNIC was originally fitted with carbide- and petroleum lighting. Later, these lights were replaced by period-correct electrical lights. When these modifications were made, the side lanterns were also modified. The car has rear-wheel cable brakes, as fitted on most cars of that era.
This car has never been restored and still bears its original paint. Even the brass plate on the body which states the owners name, a garage-owner from Maubeuge, is there.
Because motorised vehicles were very rare in the early 1900’s, almost every car manufacturer in France put the steering wheel on the right-hand side of the car. This was done till the mid 1930’s. This made driving in the hills and mountains more safe, as one was able to drive much closer to the mountain wall or to the ravine so cars could pass each other on small mountain roads. This UNIC offers room for four people.
Attention: It is a pity but all the documentation, including registration papers, from this car went lost. So the car comes without any documentation or registration documents.
The founder of the car brand UNIC, Georges Richard, begins his career in 1892 as a bicycle manufacturer. Between 1896 and 1902, Georges Richard produces his first car: ‘the Pony’.
Large scale production of cars starts when he meets his companion Baron Henri De Rothschild in 1906. He starts then a new automobile firm: UNIC. One year later, UNIC introduces its first car, which had a two cylinder engine with between 10 and 12 hp. A taxi-version followed which had an upgraded 4-cylinder engine that produced 12-14 hp. These taxis were very popular in London, where reportedly over 5.000 UNIC taxis were stationed.
Fun fact: UNIC taxis, together with Renault taxis and probably many other, took part in the historic transportation of the French army from Paris to the Marne battle in 1914. During the First World War, UNIC mostly produced busses, trucks and ambulance for the French army. When the war ended in 1919, the company continued the fabrication of cars for the public and trucks for the companies who were trying to restart their businesses.
In 1924, Georges Richard dies due to injuries following a motorcycle accident. Georges Dubois takes over the factory, which employed 1500 people at that time. The UNIC factory existed until the late sixties when UNIC was bought by the truck company IVECO.
1919-1920 GEOGES RICHARD UNIC type J 3
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