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Monica prototype surfaces - Preview: DVCA, Somerset, UK, March 25

  • Monica Prototype number one on offer at DVCA - 0
  • Monica Prototype number one on offer at DVCA - 1
  • Monica Prototype number one on offer at DVCA - 2
  • Monica Prototype number one on offer at DVCA - 3
  • Monica Prototype number one on offer at DVCA - 4
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This amazing Monica prototype tops the lots at the DVCA sale to be held in Somerset, UK...

The Monica is one of those oddities that enthusiasts cite as a super-saloon that's rather ahead of its time. Combining supercar looks with four-doors might be de rigeur now, but back in the 1970s, this was seriously impressive stuff.

The auction house, DVCA, is offering the very first of its breed - prototype number one - and anticipates that it will attract significant interest. Here's the story:

Jean Tastevin originally owned a factory at Balbigny, near Lyon, which built railway wagons. On deciding to produce motor cars as well, he made contact with Chris Lawrence of Deep Sanderson fame. Lawrence set about designing a very special four seat, four door saloon which was to be named after Tastevin's wife, Monica.

The rare car is powered by a three litre, V8 Ted Martin designed engine, which was in it's day a highly successful race engine. This is coupled with a five speed ZF gearbox and a De Dion rear axle located by trailing arms and a Panhard rod - the differential being a Rover 3500 unit with vented front and rear disc brakes.

The Rocker arm front suspension links the lower wishbones and stub axles to the inboard coil spring shock absorbers. The alloy body was, we understand, built by Williams and Pritchard and features twin fuel tanks fitted in the sill panels. The interior is leather. This Monica was originally intended as a 'driving test bed', without bodywork, to evaluate the running gear design and chassis.

When the bodywork was fitted and the Monica was put to the road it was registered as 2 ARX, but that number now resides elsewhere.

A large history file is supplied with the project, which includes press cuttings, correspondence, photographs and magazines. This fascinating and unique motor car deserves to be restored to it's rightful place in historic motoring history.

The estimate for this fantastic car is £20,000-25,000.

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