1910 HURTU 16HP DOUBLE PHAETON WITH VICTORIA HOOD
Chassis no. To be advised
Engine no. To be advised
Dark green, cream chassis with black leather upholstery and hood.
Engine: four cylinder 90mmx120mm bore and stroke (3.05 litres), HT magneto ignition, pump lubrication. Pressed steel chassis, cone clutch; Gearbox: four speed and reverse with right hand change; shaft drive; Suspension: semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: handbrake to rear wheels, foot transmission brake. Right hand drive.
The firm of Hurtu, Hautin et Diligeon was established in the northern French town of Albert in 1881 to make sewing machines. Production of machine tools soon followed, together with the manufacture of bicycles. In 1895, Diligeon bought out his partners but retained the Hurtu trade name, setting up the Compagnie des Automobile et Cycles Hurtu in 1899. The firm's cycle experience had in 1897 brought it the contract for the mass production of the tubular-framed 3-wheeler Leon Bollee voiturette and in 1898 Hurtu made the first 4-wheeled cars of its own design that were closely based on the layout of the then popular Benz Velo. Licensed manufacture of this vehicle was taken up by Marshall & Co. of Manchester, England, who subsequently went on the make Belsize motor cars.
Hurtu showrooms were established in the Parisian "Motor Car Street" at 29 Avenue de la Grand-Armee and by 1901 voiturettes with front engines and of contemporary appearance were being sold in considerable numbers. Employing well over 500 workers, Hurtu were one of the largest French metal working enterprises of the period.
By 1910 Diligeon had moved Hurtu car manufacture to Rueil-Malmaison on the western outskirts of Paris and was producing a range of vehicles from the popular 8hp single cylinder and 10hp monobloc four cylinder cars with Renault-type bonnets and dash-board radiators, to larger vehicles of 14,16 and 24hp of more conventional appearance.
This Hurtu is a 16hp Model 4EA that was available over a five year period and is believed to date from 1910. The double-phaeton bodywork with folding hood over the rear seat is typical of the period, being particularly applicable for town carriage work. However, the three litre engine will provide adequate performance on the open road for a car of the period, with the adjustable windscreen plus apron giving appropriate protection to the driver. The car is equipped with brass acetylene headlamps, oil sidelamps, bulb horn, and rear mounted spare tyre.
This Hurtu is from a manufacturer that was in business from the earliest days until 1931, although the make rarely made the headlines. The smaller pre-Great War cars are reasonably familiar, but few examples of the firm's larger models, such as this, have survived. It would be an interesting motor car to see taking part in "Edwardian " events.