Wednesday, April 30, 2014

1956 Claveau Prototype

1956 Claveau Prototype - Tampa Bay Automobile Museum

This car was designed by Emile Claveau and presented at the Paris auto show in 1955. The engine is a 2-stroke, 3-cylinder from DKW with a 4-speed gearbox. It is a unibody with four wheel independent suspension. Rubber rings nested in each other provide the suspension; they were called "anneaux Neiman" and were installed with success on bikes and scooters.

The car was exhibited but never tested. In fact, the gas tank was never installed. A French collector, Doctor Jeanson, rescued the Claveau from a salvage yard and it was later bought by the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum. After restoration and the addition of a gas tank, the Claveau has now been driven, 50 years after being introduced at the Paris auto show.

It is the last design from Emile Claveau and the only one known to survive. Mr. Claveau was a prolific designer, always well in advance of his time. In 1925 hia first automobile was a mid-engine with an aerodynamic body. In 1930, he decided that front-wheel drive had a big advantage due to the position of the engine, giving more luggage storage.
  • Location: Tampa Bay Automobile Museum - Pinellas Park, FL