Gregoire Sport LWB cabriolet by Chapron 1958
2017 Antwerp Concours - Wijnegem (B)
French engineer Jean-Albert Grégoire's first exploit in car manufacture was with the front wheel drive Tracta cars which were made between 1926 and 1934. These cars pioneered in front wheel drive technology but failed commercially. After car manufacture had ended Grégoire continued to do engineering and development work and after World War II he designed a new front wheel drive car which was produced by Hotchkiss.
After a break-up with Hotchkiss he developed this design into a car which was presented under his own name in 1955: the Gregoire Sport. It was constructed in the old Tracta factory he had retained; sometimes this car is referred to as the Tracta Gregoire Sport. The car showed a number of innovations like a aluminum monocoque chassis and a 2.2 Litre 4 cylinder boxer engine with supercharger in front of the wheels, producing 125 hp. And of course it was front wheel drive.
From 1955 till 1962 up to 15 of these cars were made by Grégoire. Four of them where long wheel base versions with a beautiful cabriolet body by Henri Chapron, of which the car shown here was the last one made. Apparently a substantial sum of money was lost on each car sold, so again it was a commercial failure. But it is a beautiful and now super rare car.