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The Belgian Pipe company was founded by Alfred and Victor Goldschmidt in 1898, with production of Panhard type automobiles appearing from 1900. Within a couple of years, the brothers were aimed their business at the sporting car market and began to announce a series of technically innovative cars. First came the introduction of the Jenatzy electric clutch system, then a hemispherical overhead valve engine penned by ex-Mercedes designer Otto Pfänder, leading to a second place in the 1907 Kaiserpreis. As they progressed through the first decade of the 20th Century the business grew well, but they were unable to recover from the loss of Pfänder in 1907, and destruction of their factory during World War One.

Hautvast before the race. Source: The Automotor Journal.

Pipe cars appeared at the Gordon Bennett Cup only once, in 1904. According to the Automotor Journal the racing cars “did not differ materially in construction from the well-known touring cars built by this company; they are of the chain-driven type, have armoured-wood main frames, and are fitted with the “Goliath” magnetic clutch, invented by Mons. Jenatzy. The 4-cylinder engines are of 90-hp, the valves are all mechanically operated, and a high-tension system of ignition with accumulators is adopted on them. The maker’s “automatic” type of carburettor is employed, the change-speed-gear provides four forward speeds and a reverse, and there are two brakes on the differential countershaft as well as the internal expanding brakes on the hubs of the rear wheels”.

Hautvast during the race. Source: Gallica/BNF

There were three Pipe cars at the 1904 event, driven by Maurice Augières, Baron Pierre de Crawhez and Lucien Hautvast. Only Hautvast was able to finish the race.

Source: Bonhams, The Automotor Journal.

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