Lion VC 2 adventure
Member and volunteer of L’Aventure for 26 years, Henri Auger tells us the story of a special collector’s car; that of a LION Limousine Luxe “VC 2” from 1909 which joined L’Aventure Peugeot Museum this summer 2023.
“Here it is finally!!! It left its adopted Morvan for Franche-Comté where it was born 114 years ago. It has only had two owners so far. The first took possession of it in August 1909; it was the Count of Ganay de la Cour domiciled in the castle of Tavernay (20 km from Autun – Saône et Loire), from an old nobility of France (he had an ancestor Public Prosecutor in Autun).
After taking the Ganay family for a walk, the “Limousine Luxe-Chauffeur” hibernated for decades in the outbuildings of the château. During the summer of 1950, the widowed Countess of Ganay, attending a parade of vintage cars in Autun, gave it “free of charge” to a collector who presented his Citroën Traction there. The latter, Maurice Quincey, accepted the gift of this ancestor car (then almost in a state of wreckage) and promised to restore it upon his retirement in 1987.
From that year on, he began restoring the VC2 with the help of a mechanic friend, entrusting the restoration of the bodywork and upholstery (furniture) to professionals. He had the roof rack rebuilt by an art ironworker who made it foldable so that the car could fit in his garage!
The collector’s objective was then to be able to take his 2 granddaughters to their wedding at Autun Cathedral in May and then June 2000.
A little anecdote: during the first wedding, the car was immobilized by a clutch failure! After consulting Philippe Cornebois [Head of the Museum Workshop at the time] with whom I had put the two mechanics in contact, it turned out that a part had been reassembled upside down!
Following the death of Maurice Quincey in December 2007, the car was used again (still in Autun) at the 2009 wedding of a great-grandson of the deceased. These three outings in Autun intramuros are the only kilometers traveled by the VC2 since its restoration! Since then it has hibernated again, fortunately well protected, the settlement of the estate having taken a long time.
Since our meeting at the Rétromobile show in February 2000 and until his death, I had constantly been in touch with Mr. Quincey (needless to say that he has become a loyal member of the Association). I have also always kept in touch with his wife and daughter-in-law, as well as with the last notary in charge of this estate since 2019.
This model is particularly attractive and seductive. Moreover, if since 1904 Automobiles Peugeot has produced cars with a closed bodycar, we did not have any until then that predates our 153 BRA limousine of 1922! It is therefore a historic arrival at L’Aventure Peugeot Museum.
I would like to thank the entire L’Aventure team who accompanied me, as Maurice would have wished, so that this rare model could enrich the collection, as well as Mrs. Quincey for her complicity. I can’t wait to see the Lioness in place in its new setting and on the set of the next Epoqu’auto show where the Peugeot brand will be guest of honor! ” Henri
History of the Lion Peugeot VC2
In 1904, the sons of Eugène Peugeot, of which Robert was the leader, had a different vision of the automobile than that of their father who, on December 5th, 1895, had the family company’s Management Board vote for the car production stopped! Armand Peugeot then created the Société des Automobiles Peugeot, in April 1896, in order to pursue alone this long-term activity which he had initiated in 1890. A non-competition agreement between each company was established for a period of 16 years.
At the end of 1905, however, Robert obtained from “Uncle Armand” to launch into the manufacture of “small cars”, Armand reserving the upper segments. License fees and patents are then paid by Les Fils de Peugeot Frères to the Société des Automobiles Peugeot and these small cars are sold under the “Lion Peugeot” brand. 12 types of Lion were made from 1906 to 1915 in 7,800 units (including 1,175 VC2 types). Finally, the cycle (also created by Armand) and automobile activities of the Fils de Peugeot Frères and the Société des Automobiles Peugeot were brought together in February 1910.
The VC2s are fitted with a 1,045 cc vertical single cylinder, cone clutch, 3-speed gearbox and transmission to the rear wheels by chains. The steering is screw and sector and the drum brakes act on the rear wheels only. The suspensions are leaf springs and friction shock absorbers. Depending on the ratios chosen, the maximum speed is 34 to 49 km/h.
This Luxury VC2 limousine is in its time the perfect example of “master cars”!