t the beginning of October, the restorers succeeded in starting the Popp Patent Motor Car. But the ignition still remains a technical "sticking point". A stable and safe start-up of the Popp is currently not possible. Unfortunately, we have to refrain from participating in the race on 5 November in London. But our team is doing everything in its power to ensure that the Popp is ready for take-off in 2024!
In the course of our preparations, we also checked the history of the Dufaux. The result of the research indicates that the race car is younger than previously assumed. The criterion for participation in London, year of construction 1904 and older, is therefore unfortunately not fulfilled. Thus, the Dufaux will not be able to take part in the race despite being roadworthy.
We are also disappointed. However, even more we look forward to presenting you with the renovated Dufaux, shining in new splendour, from 14 November in the Road Transport Hall at the Swiss Museum of Transport!
On 8 September 2023, the Dufaux racing car was the star at the opening of this year's classic car festival "ACS Concours d'Excellence". In the presence of numerous classic car fans and visitors to the Swiss Museum of Transport, the Dufaux drove into the arena with an impressive roar of engines. In brilliant weather, it presented itself in its freshly restored glory. The pride of the two drivers, René Gauch and Louis Frey, was unmistakable. Over a period of months, they restored the historic vehicle from the collection of the Swiss Museum of Transport and put it back on the road.
Numerous members and partners have generously supported the renovation. The donation target of CHF 44,500 has been reached. The Swiss Museum of Transport would like to sincerely thank everyone for their support!
René Gauch and Louis Frey have been working intensively on the Dufaux racing car and the Popp patent engine car for the last few months. Now the engines have been cleaned, the mechanics have been checked as far as possible and missing parts have been reproduced and installed true to the original. But before the two vehicles are allowed back on the road and are ready to take part in the legendary "London to Brighton Veteran Car Run" on 5 November, there is still a lot to do.
DUFAUX RACE CAR
The Dufaux brothers, Charles and Frédéric, began manufacturing automobiles in Geneva in 1904. Their first vehicle was the Dufaux Race Car, which was built specially for the Gordon Bennett Cup, an international car race that took place every year. This exceptional model is fitted with the first eight-cylinder inline engine for road use.
POPP PATENT MOTOR CAR
A few years earlier, in 1898, Lorenz Popp manufactured this wonderful two-seater. Switzerland’s oldest car features a four-stroke, two-cylinder parallel engine and what is known as a hot-tube igniter. It is a development of the fififi rst Benz Patent Motor Car.
ON THE ROAD WITH EXPERTISE, CURIOSITY AND PASSION
The veteran car specialists René Gauch and Louis Frey are bringing these two automobiles from the museum’s collection back onto the road free of charge. With help from tools and techniques of the period, these two cars will shine in new splendor – though the marks of time won’t be hidden away. The experienced restorers share the same opinion: “Veteran cars are made to be driven.” Bernhard Taeschler, President of the Swiss Historic Vehicle Federation, thinks so too: “When they are driven, historical cars become true cultural artifacts. That’s exactly why these precious pieces of history were built – and in Switzerland!” The crowning moment of the restoration project will be the participation of the Popp Patent Motor Car and the Dufaux Race Car in the “London to Brighton Veteran Car Run”.
«LONDON TO BRIGHTON - VETERAN CAR RUN» - TAKING PART IS EVERYTHING
What began in 1896 with 33 cars has since grown to an event featuring 500 veteran cars from around the world. Only vehicles built before 1905 can participate. Those who do take part drive these
cars of yesteryear at walking pace, battling the elements from London to Brighton. A truly unforgettable experience! For some, it is a family tradition. For others, it’s a chance to take the pace of everyday
life down a gear. There are also those that just love the technology from the era. More than half a million spectators follow the parade in person every year. Those who reach Brighton in their
veteran cars within the allotted time receive an award – it doesn’t matter what order the participants fi nish in.