1954 Salmson 2300 S EX - TOUR DE FRANCE AUTOMOBILE 1956 ET LYON-CHARBONNIÈRES 1956

Lot 26
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65 000 - 85 000 €

1954 Salmson 2300 S EX - TOUR DE FRANCE AUTOMOBILE 1956 ET LYON-CHARBONNIÈRES 1956

Only 121 of this type made
Fast and reliable
Tour de France Automobile 1956 et Lyon-Charbonnières 1956
Eligible for Mille Miglia, Monte Carlo
Historique, Tour Auto

Chassis N° 85126
French registration

‘At last here in France we have a sport car that can stand comparison with famous foreign models,' concluded Jean Bernardet in L'Automobile, after a test of the Salmson 2300S at Montlhéry. Unveiled in 1953 at the fortieth Paris motor show, the 2300S offered more than just agreeable lines: with its twin-cam 105bhp four-cylinder engine, mated to a Cotal electro-magnetic gearbox, it would prove to be a car worthy of respect in competition. It distinguished itself on the most prestigious events, such as the Mille Miglia, the Tour de France Automobile and the Monte Carlo Rally, not to mention the Lyon Charbonnières, the Coupe des Alpes and the Liège-Rome-Liège.
According to marque expert Michel Bonnerot's researches only 217 2300S coupés were made, of which 121 were the ‘Sport' variant. Chassis 85126 was bought in November 1954 by Paul Mazaud, the Salmson concessionnaire in Nantes, as his demonstration vehicle. Registered 995 CJ 44, it was sold fairly swiftly to Stanislas Motte, in May 1955, and re-registered 804 BE 59. With Motte at the wheel it competed in the Lyon-Charbonnières and the Tour de France Automobile in 1956. The next known owner, a Mr Letreguilly, bought the car in Vigneux in the Loire Atlantique region on 18 October 1967. Registered 595 FT 44, it was kept by Mr Letreguilly until in 2004 it passed to a young French collector, who decided to bring the car back to life.
With the Salmson basically sound but not having been used for several years, the key need was to completely re-do the mechanicals. The car was fully dismantled in 2006 and the body sanded, primed and painted. The original engine was rebuilt with a new crankshaft bought in 1973 by Mr Letreguilly and new 1700NF bearings, new X20T valves, and new pistons and rings.
The head was skimmed and the original camshafts - 19052 and 19053, the correct cams for the 2300S - duly re-fitted. The brakes, radiator, water pump and all hoses were rebuilt or replaced as appropriate (the brakes being overhauled a second time in 2014) and all the brightwork was stripped using a ceramic-bead blasting medium, rectified where necessary and then chromed. The upholstery, headlining, carpet, door trims and dashboard leather were all replaced. Finally, for more reliable electrics an electronic ignition system was fitted (with the contact-breaker points and condenser kept in the engine bay as a fallback), and the cooling system improved by fitment of an electric fan with manual over-ride.
Chassis 85126 is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most desirable examples of the 2300S, as a result of its history and its sporting record, as well as the model's well-known performance and sturdiness.
Having already been campaigned on the 2011 Mille Miglia and the 2014 Tour Auto Optic 2000, the Salmson is manifestly a sound choice for anyone wanting to participate in the best events on the classic-car calendar in a car that is historically interesting, performs well and is extremely rare.
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