Monday 13th August 1928
Fernand Charron (62), winner of the first Gordon Bennett Trophy, died. The French pioneer of motor racing and automobile manufacturing started his sporting career as a successful cyclist. In 1891 he won the French National Stayers Championships riding a bicycle around a track following a tandem. Between 1897 and 1903 he took part in 18 car races, 4 of which he won: 1898 Marseille–Nice and 1898 Paris–Amsterdam–Paris in 1898, Paris–Bordeaux in 1899 and the inaugural Gordon Bennett Cup (Paris–Lyon) in 1900. He drove mainly Panhard & Levassor cars. On one occasion, he crashed into a St Bernard dog which became wedged between the right wheel and the suspension and jammed the steering, though he still won the race. He retired after an unsuccessful season in 1903 and worked as manager of Adolphe Clément’s factory complex at Levallois-Perret. In 1901 Fernand Charron was one of the three founders of an automobile manufacturer called Charron, Girardot et Voigt (CGV). Following resignations the company was reformed in 1906 at Puteaux as Charron Ltd., the English “Ltd” suffix reflecting a large amount of investment capital that came from England. Shortly before the outbreak, in 1914, of the First World War Charron was trying to sell his auto-business, but he nevertheless was also using it at this time to build cars for the Alda company. The outbreak of peace found Carron still in ownership of the business which at the Paris Motor Show in October 1919 was offering two models, the small 6HP “Type TC” (derived from the “Charronette” of 1914) and the 15HP “Type PGM”.