1956 - DB HBR5

Lot 89
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Estimation :
30000 - 40000 EUR
1956 - DB HBR5
1956 - DB HBR5 French registration Chassis n°821 Engine n°1636/036571 - Authentic French sports car, eligible for Tour Auto, Mille Miglia, Targa Florio... - Known history with only two owners since 1965 - Complete and functional car, interesting restoration base - Example with retractable headlights and equipped with a Constantin compressor It was at the dawn of the Second World War that the Deutsch-Bonnet brand was born, the fruit of collaboration between Charles Deutsch and René Bonnet. In 1937, the two engineers formalized their union with a view to offering cars that combined simple, economical mechanics with a rapidly developing science: aerodynamics. In creating the D.B. company, the aim was to power cars with engines that were easy to obtain, inexpensive to produce and relatively simple to optimize, and to innovate in body shaping to maximize performance, thus gaining an edge on the competition circuit. A strategy that many manufacturers would adopt years later. Once the cyclone of the Second World War had passed, a new era began. As early as 1947, the same year as Ferrari, Charles Deutsch and René Bonnet offered their first coupés to the public, and lined up their first competition cars on the racetracks, proudly displaying the "D.B" badge, even competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1949. The cars were true to their ideals: powered by Citroën or Panhard engines, the streamlined barquettes and coupés had looks that would not be denied by some Jaguar Type-Cs. To finance their sporting ambitions, they decided to market cars adapted from their racing cars, and in 1950 the first D.B. was presented at the Paris Motor Show. It was an elegant cabriolet bodied by Jean Antem, a renowned pre-war coachbuilder. The formula was still the same: powered by a Panhard 750 cm3 twin-cylinder engine, the bodywork was impressively light. The success of the young French brand was as much commercial as sporting, winning the Tour de France Auto in 1952. At the 1954 Paris Motor Show, the prototype of the D.B. HBR5 was presented: H for the engine category between 500 and 750 cm3, B for Biplace, R for Route, and 5 for the fifth production car in the brand's history. It featured a number of innovations that were almost unheard of at the time, such as a self-supporting aluminum body, retractable headlamps that preserved aerodynamics, and a very low body line, in contrast to the imposing coaches of the 1950s. The production model features a plastic body with streamlined headlights, giving it a look straight out of the racetrack. Produced until 1961 in its "Super Rally" version, around 660 HBR5s were produced, an undeniable success for such a young brand. The example we are fortunate enough to present for sale is a Deutsch Bonnet HBR5, which, according to Alain Gaillard's reference work on DB automobiles, rolled off the production line in a "coach" version with a 4 CV engine and wooden steering wheel. According to the book, in which the car is referenced, it was delivered to a certain Mr. B, of Castres in the Tarn department on December 12, 1955, and registered for the first time on January 4, 1956. During that year, it took part in various competitions, including the Lyon-Charbonnières and Touraine (12th) rallies, before being resold the following year and making two successive visits to the brand's workshops in 1957 and 1958. Subsequently, in March 1965, it was registered in the Vaucluse département, before being acquired in 1986 by the current owner's father, then a Panhard agent in the Drôme. Manufactured in 1955, this DB, which has never been restored although repainted, is one of the earliest examples. It has a polyester body and retractable headlights to preserve its aerodynamics. Body adjustments and alignments are approximate, while the roof is deformed, but the central-beam chassis remains in good condition. This HBR5 coach is powered by a 1636-type flat-twin engine with twin Weber carburetors. This is combined with a Constantin compressor/supercharger. The dynamic test enabled us to observe that this mechanical unit revs well, that the wiring harness works and that the braking system, reworked a few years ago, is effective. It's worth noting that the brake drums installed are made of aluminum, while the steel ones are made of stainless steel.
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