1902 LAMBERT 8hp TYPE G TWO SEATER VOITURETTE
Registration No. 697 C7 (France)
Car No. 35
Engine No. 9626
Dark Green, with yellow chassis and black leather interior
Engine: De Dion Bouton single cylinder, 100x120, 942cc. Gearbox: three speed; Suspension: front and rear, semi-elliptic leaf spring; Brakes: rear wheel drum and contracting band on transmission. Right hand drive.
Lambert first came to the attention of the motoring public when the firm of Doué, Lambert et Cie, of 27 Avenue de la Grande Armée, exhibited at the 1901 Paris Salon. In its Show report of the 21st December The Autocar referred to the car as 'economical' and reported that it was shaft driven and could be fitted with either a 'De Dion or a two-cylinder Abeille engine'. By the time of the 1902 Salon the firm had become the Société Nouvelle d'Automobiles, A. Lambert & Cie, operating from the same address in the Parisian boulevard where the majority of the prominent French motor manufacturers and dealers had their showrooms.
Lambert's 1902 sales brochure issued at the time of that year's December Salon lists and illustrates a range of models: 6 and 9 hp De Dion Bouton single-cylinder cars, and single and twin-cylinder Aster-engined versions, all with tubular chassis, although a wood and flitch-plate version could be specified for an additional 200 French Francs. The basic 6hp car with wooden wheels, side-change lever to a 3-speed gearbox, and shaft drive was 3900FF but could be augmented with a 'spider' rear seat for 100FF, or complete with a rear-entrance tonneau for 4600FF.
Examination of Lambert's literature shows that not only did the firm use bought-in engines, but also that the running gear of at least the small cars was provided by the well-known component supplier Lacoste et Battmann. This Levallois firm rarely sold complete cars under its own name yet it was responsible for over 60 'makes' in both France and Britain during the period from c.1901 to about 1906. Most of these makes are long forgotten but because of surviving London to Brighton cars such as Achilles, Barré, Dennis, l'Élégante, Gamage, Jackson, Napoléon, Régal, and Speedwell, the products of Lacoste et Battman live on. And very good products they are too. The tubular chassis are as rigid as any period car of its size, the steering gear is simple but effective, the cone clutch to the three-speed bronze gearbox both function well and the shaft final drive to the live rear axle are very well made.
This car with its De Dion Bouton engine married to Lacoste et Battman components is an absolutely typical voiturette of its era. The makers plate with the name 'Société Nouvelle A. Lambert' thereon indicates that the car is post-1901, whilst the De Dion Bouton engine number places the car before the end of 1902. According to the sales brochure for the 1903 model Lamberts were fitted with the radiator within the bonnet above the chassis, rather than, as in this case, below it. The bodywork is by the well-known Levallois-Perret coachbuilders Th. Botiaux et Cie and was almost certainly originally a rear-entrance tonneau.
With the addition of the tonneau seats, re-conversion of the engine to trembler coil ignition from the present HT magneto, the fitting of an appropriate period carburettor and a thorough mechanical overhaul, this Lambert should provide a unique and ideal car for the London to Brighton Run and Veteran Club events.