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Rare 1940s electric car discovered in French garage

We’ve been discussing recently how old electric cars really are in our look at the history of the battery powered model (see story) and now we’ve the story of a rare, old electric car, dating from the 1940s, the Breguet electric car, which was recently discovered, hidden in the garage of a chateau in France.

The Breguet electric car was produced by French aviation manufacturer, Louis The Brequet electric car in the garage Charles Breguet. During the war, Breguet was forced to stop producing aircraft and as a way to keep his workforce employed he switched to building cars. As petrol at this time was strictly rationed Louis manufactured electric cars and the Berguet became the everyday people’s car.

Fitted with six 12 volt batteries and a 72 volt electric motor mounted between the rear wheels, had a range of as much as 62 miles per charge, as long as speeds were kept to a crawl of around 12mph.

Once discovered in its chateau hideaway, this rare example of the Breguet was transported to the UK and shown at the Masterpiece Fair in London in June 2012, its condition untouched, and was then sold by specialist auctioneers, Duncan Hamilton early this week to the Louwman Museum in Holland.

The Louwman Museum in The Hague is the world’s oldest private collection of motor cars, compiled by two generations of the Louwman family. Dating back to 1934, it is home to some 230 antique and classic motor cars.

Nick Maton, Sales Manager at Duncan Hamilton & Co, said: “The Berguet is an extremely rare car with origins steeped in history. Adrian stumbled across the car whilst at Le Mans in 2012 and because of its heritage we chose to leave the car in the condition it was found. The Louwman Museum has a wonderful collection of vintage and historic automobiles and we feel the Berguet will fit well in this impressive and established collection.”

Now in transit to its new museum home, the car will be exhibited complete with its original interiors, motor and spare batteries.

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Faye Sunderland

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