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1914 FN 1250 Car Registration no. MC 6462 Chassis no. 277 Engine no. 26001/277

Sold for £37,950 inc. premium
Lot 1246
1914 FN 1250 Car
Registration no. MC 6462 Chassis no. 277 Engine no. 26001/277

1914 FN 1250 Car
Registration no. MC 6462
Chassis no. 277
Engine no. 26001/277


One of Belgium's leading marques, FN – the "Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre" – had its origin in the fusion in 1886 of a number of arms manufacturers in Liège to produce military and hunting weapons and munitions. In 1896 a majority share in the company was acquired by the German Löwe group, owners of the Mauser gun factory, which strictly controlled FN's access to foreign markets. Consequently, FN diversified into bicycle manufacture in 1896, building its first motor car, a voiturette designed by the Italian engineer J. de Cosmo early in 1899.

In 1901 FN built a huge 100-hp petrol-electric for Count Pierre de Caters, while the following year they became Belgian concessionaires for De Dion-Bouton. That arrangement proved short-lived, and in December 1902 a prototype four-cylinder "silent and supple" FN car was exhibited. While FN was building 40 motorbikes a day by 1904, car production didn't get properly under way until 1906, when FN began making Rochet-Schneider cars under licence, and by 1907 four cars a day were leaving the FN factory at Herstal-lez-Liège.

Manufacture of small cars began in 1908 with an 8/10-hp four-cylinder and a number of light cars was introduced during the following years until in late 1913 FN launched the popular "1250" at the Paris Salon. It was a model that would remain in production – apart from the war years, when the FN factory was requisitioned by the occupying Germans – until the early 1920s.

This particular FN 1250 was acquired in 1964 from a long-term owner, A.S. Bartlett of Windsor, who had owned the "Old Lady" since 1925. Noted Michael Banfield after buying it: "We towed it as far as Staines, then stopped and put some petrol in, and after a little tinkering we eventually got it started and I drove it all the way home from Staines to Dulwich, which I am very pleased about."

There were early plans for restoration, but bigger projects intervened, and the FN remains nicely untouched and running well, an ideal candidate for the increasingly popular "oily rag" class.

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  • 12 June 2014, 09:00 - 17:30 BST

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