This CGS Amilcar was nicknamed the 'poor man's Bugatti' in its native France and was among the most successful small sports cars of the 1920s. The CGS of 1924 scaled 992 pounds and Amilcar promoted its small sports cars with a million-franc racing budget.
The CGS Amilcar certainly looked the part, with its doorless, pointed-tail bodywork and a 'racing' radiator. The illusion was somewhat spoiled when the hood was lifted revealing a flat-head, water-cooled, side valve, 1,074 cc, 4-cylinder engine developing 30 hp. Still, its performance was startlingly quick and its exhaust note piercingly 'sporting.' It has a top speed listed at 75 mph but works-tuned cars could exceed 85 mph. The car sold new for about $1,100.
This example has been restored in French blue with red leather and has been featured in many books and magazines. It is the first Amilcar to be displayed at the Amelia Island Concours.
Amilcar, built from 1921 through 1937, was one of the most successful and famous sports racer in France prior to World War I. A year after they began producing vehicles, they won the world's first 24-Hour race. From there, their place in history had been secured. They continued to build their reputation in the 1100 cc Class of motor racing. Appearances at the Targa Florio and Mille Miglia continued to prove their agility and speed.
The four-cylinder engine produced around 30 horsepower. Their strength was in their lightweight construction which resulted in around a 1250 pound overall weight. Performance was further enhanced with the four-wheel brakes, while many of their competition preferred brakes on two wheels. To keep constant braking pressure to the front wheels during cornering, Amilcar created a sliding rod inside the kingpin which helped accomplish this feat.
In 1926 a CGSs was introduced, with the additional 'S' representing 'Surbaisse'. Horsepower increased slightly to 35. Other improvements included a cast-aluminum firewall, larger sump, and an increase in brake size.
The Amilcar CGS was produced from 1924 through 1926. The Amilcar CGSs was produced from 1926 through 1929. In total there were around 4700 examples produced.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2006