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C.G.V. was founded by Fernand Charron, Léonce Girardot and Emile Voigt. All three were successful cyclists turned to racing drivers – and let’s not forget that Charron won the first and Girardot the second Gordon Bennett Cup.

Following the 1901 Paris-Berlin race, the three of them got together and decided to set up a joint company. Thus Automobiles Charron, Girardot & Voigt was born with its factory located in Puteaux. The brand name was C.G.V.

The first cars appeared in 1902 – including the first European car with an in-line 8-cylinder engine. The 8.2 liter car had a very long wheelbase and, as a special feature, it had no manual transmission. It was assumed that such a motor would be so flexible that a gearbox could be dispensed with. This assumption turned out to be incorrect.

Source: Gallica/BNF

For the 1902 Gordon Bennett Cup a Panhard-like car was prepared with a four-cylinder, 9582 cc engine, which claimed to offer 40-hp though in reality it was closer to 60-hp. The suspension incorporated a transverse spring at the rear. This, however, was auxiliary to the conventional semi-elliptics also fitted. Girardot could not finish the race due to a leaking fuel tank.

In 1906 Girardot left C.G.V. and the company was dissolved.

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