Lot 280 - 1927 Amilcar CGSS Special Roadster
|Odometer reading||496 km|
|Result||Sold - £51,520|
Unveiled in the summer of 1926, the CGSS was one of the quintessential French voiturettes that could be registered within a lower tax bracket at the time. This model was a development of Amilcar's successful line of sports cars known as the CGS with the extra 'S' standing for surbaissé and described the model's lower chassis.
The CGSS featured a revised camshaft, larger sump volume, improved steering box, short wheelbase and larger brakes. The later examples also featured a four-speed gearbox. Buyers had a choice of various body styles from a coupé to the iconic staggered-seat, pointed-tail roadster. The 1074cc four-cylinder engine from the CGS was fitted but in a slightly higher state of tune delivering 35hp. It was also available with a Cozette supercharger for those who needed more power. Thus equipped, a CGSS won the 1927 Monte Carlo Rally driven by Lefebvre. Designed as an enthusiast's first racing car, many customers purchased the CGSS to drive during the week and to compete in events on the weekend. Today, the CGSS remains one of the most sought-after Amilcars as well as a landmark example of a late 1920s sports car.
This story, in any detail, begins in 1973 when Trevor Pask spotted a 'small ad' in Exchange & Mart for an Amilcar. The UK was being strangled by the 'three-day week' and a small garage operating in Hanwell, West London, had a proprietor with a passion for these iconic French voiturettes. After a brief telephone call, they met and struck a deal for £75. It was stored in a lock-up some miles away and hadn't been opened for five years. The tyres were flat and the currently-fitted Vauxhall 12 engine had seized; it was winched out and taken home.
After judicious amounts of WD40, some fresh sparking plugs and some elbow grease on the flywheel, it fired up and Trevor Pask was soon seen lapping the perimeter road at Brunel University. It was then put away for six or seven years with the occasional blast around the campus.
It later transpired that a friend, Desmond Peacock, was having his CGSS re-framed and skinned and, with the skin off his car, Mr. Pask made some patterns from his very original frame and had another ash unit made up. Roy Hartin of Hartin Panels in Putney re-skinned it in aluminium including the distinctive 'Eldridge Cowl', and thus the restoration process had begun.
The engine and gearbox were removed, Hartin re-made the fuel tank and the lamps, wing stays and struts were also all rejected. The propshaft assembly also went, along with the engine mountings and steering box bracket. And so began the process of collecting the requisite parts through the press, autojumbles, the Amilcar Register and various trips to France. Eventually the correct parts for a new toque tube came together, a brake cross-shaft and cockpit instruments but unfortunately still no engine and gearbox. Eventually one turned up in a rolling chassis of a car, 'bought for spares', as well as many other extra parts. By 1984, the car was assembled using re-built brakes and "new bearings in everything that turned". The new frame and body was then added and the car you see here was beginning to come together. The coach-trimmer then arrived and spent a week on the staggered seats, trim and black tonneau cover, all of which complemented the exquisite, seamless aluminium coachwork.
Marchal headlamps were finally added and The Trevor Pask CGSS was complete.
Paperwork exists within the history file detailing drawing, bills and UK registration document both modern and buff. Many MoT test certificates also accompany this car as well as a period photograph of a similar car with Eldridge Cowl, YM 55, powering round the Greenford Track in September, 1927.
There is no doubt that this car has been assembled through a combination of knowledge, experience, patience and, above all, passion. The craftsmanship employed is impeccable and the bodywork is nothing short of poetry.
Previous lotLot 279 - 1925 Amilcar CS
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.