The Darmont Morgan
Darmont Spécial at Ventoux, June 1987
History of the Darmont Morgan:
After the victory of McMinnies in a Morgan Runabout at the first Cyclecar Grand Prix at Amiens in 1913, Morgan Three-Wheelers became quite popular in France. Thus the cars were imported to France by Franquebalme, Guyot, Badelogue and the Darmont brothers Roger ("Constructeur du Morgan", as he called himself) and André (he did the racing). In 1914 a 150 cars were sold in France and for 1915 there were orders for some more 500 cars, but World War I intervened.
When the war was over the number of Morgans sold in France increased enormously, again pushed by a remarkable victory: Paul Houel won at the Circuit de L'Eure on August 16, 1919. Later in that year Darmont made an agreement with the Morgan Motor Company for a French produced Morgan, which was called the "Darmont-Morgan". The model range for 1919 was the same as in England, some parts for the cars were shipped in from England, others made at the factory at Rue Jules-Ferry 27 at Courbevois (Seine), which is a suburb of Paris.
By late 1920 the Darmont factory produced already 14 cars per week and in a 1933 Catalogue Darmont claimed that during the last 20 years 100.000 cars have been put on the road ("En vingt ans, 100.000 vehicules ont été mis en circulation" - for sure here is meant the combined number of Darmonts, Sandfords and Morgans). Over the years Darmont did his own body-styling, built his own engines and introduced all new models like the Darmont Spécial and the Étoile de France. Production of the three-wheelers ended in 1936, but in April 1935 Darmont had introduced the V-Junior, a four wheeled car with three forward speeds and reverse. Apparently everything came to an end with World War II.
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The picture shows a 1921 Sport Model with a water-cooled M.A.G. IOE engine. The driver is Marcel Vidal, who in later years has been racing Bugattis, and the man in the passenger seat is Mr Franquebalme, the Paris agent for Morgans.
Morgan Type "Darmont Spécial" from 1927. It was introduced on November 1st, 1926 to "meet the demand of a great number of sportsman". The engine is a 1.100cc water-cooled OHV Darmont engine with two magnetos and looks pretty much like a Blackburne engine. The car was able to run at a speed of 150 Km/h, which is about 93 mph! Of course this was only possible by omitting the mudguards and the windscreen. The tire size for this car: 27" x 4".
Étoile de France (1933). The engine is an air-cooled 50º 1.100cc V2 engine. Maximum speed of this model around 110 Km/h, which is approximately 68 mph, with a 1.100cc Darmont-Spécial engine the speed was 125 Km/h (78 mph). The standard colour of the car was blue. The car was sold with two forward speeds and no reverse, three forward speeds and reverse were available as an extra.
The Darmont Spécial (1933) was available as a "Darmont Spécial Série Normale" with a top speed of 120 Km/h (75 mph) or a "Darmont Spécial Série Luxe" with a maximum speed of 140 Km/h (87 mph). The weight of the car: 325 kg. Overall length: 3,35 Meter. Width: 1,50 Meter.
The Darmont Junior. The picture shows a fully restored car, which is/was on sale through Classic Car Collection France, 70 Avenue Kleber, 75116 Paris, France in November 1998 for 90.000 FF and claims to be a 1934! model. The Darmont Junior had four wheels and three forward speeds and reverse. The basic concept of this car still based on the Morgan chassis as you can see on the two pictures below.
The Place of the Driver in the
Detail of the Front Wheel
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The Darmont Engines:
Darmont used a huge variety of different engines in his cars: J.A.P. engines, water-cooled M.A.G. engines , air-cooled M.A.G.'s with 8 valves (beautiful engine with two inlet valves and two exit valves per cylinder! First used by Franquebalme at the Brooklands race-course in 1913 and in Argenteuil in 1921; the engine was good for a 140 Km/h) and Darmont engines (see below). For racing purposes Darmont delivered also single cylinder engines of 500cc and supercharged engines, using a chain-driven Cozette compressor (placed on the left side with the 500cc single cylinder, on the right side with the 1100cc V-twins).
série luxe - 6 CV
speed: 140 Km/h
85mm x 96 mm - 1089cc
two Solex Magnetos
6 litres on 100 Km
|Etoile De France
speed: 105 Km/h
83,5mm x 97mm - 1062cc
5 litres on 100 Km
série normale - 6 CV
speed: 120 Km/h
85mm x 96 mm - 1089cc
6 litres on 100 Km
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