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Georges Richard, did he have a brother in the US?


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#1 Michael Ferner

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 14:02

I was amazed to read in a 1916 Arizona newspaper, that Francis Richard, the head of the Richard (or, RIChard) Motor Manufacturing Co. in Cleveland/OH, was supposed to be "the brother of George S. Richard (sic!), designer and engineer of the famous French car Richard-Brassiere (sic - no giggles, please) (...) Francis Richard is also the builder and designer of the Richard carburetor"!

 

Now, I am used to reading all kinds of BS in US newspapers, especially when it comes to Europe and racing, but this article didn't strike me as particularly sensational, and furthermore the name (Richard-)Brasier was hardly any longer a househeld one (in 1916). So, is it true? Who knows more about that?

 

 

 

P.S. For those who wonder about the Arizona bit: Bob Delno, the driver of the RIChard at the 1916 Indy 500, was originally from Tucson/AZ.


Edited by Michael Ferner, 18 April 2014 - 14:03.


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#2 robert dick

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 06:53

Certainly pure promotion.

Georges Richard (born in Paris in 1863) had two brothers:

- Félix-Max = involved in the "Société des Cycles Georges Richard" and president of the "Chambre Syndicale de l'Automobile",

- and Jules = producer of optical equipment.



#3 Michael Ferner

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 16:24

Many thanks, Robert! Do you know anything about the Richard carburettor?


Edited by Michael Ferner, 19 April 2014 - 16:26.


#4 robert dick

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 05:59

The Francis Richard in question was François Richard, who - with Paul Sartori - assembled the 2x4-cylinder Fiat engined special for Alfred Vanderbilt during the autumn of 1905.

 

Contemporary description of the carburetor: "The Richard carburetor, Mr. Richard's patent, is practically three carburetors in one, with the complications eliminated, and gives double power and flexibility at one-half expense for gasoline obtained by any other make."



#5 Michael Ferner

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 16:10

Thanks, again. So, the Richard in question was at least French, it seems.



#6 robert dick

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 06:42

François Richard was born in Nîmes, Southern France, on 12 February 1875 (father = Auguste Richard, mother = Antoinette née Vertu, brothers = Ferdinand and Louis);

graduated at the École Centrale/Paris in 1894;

exhibited a two-cycle engine at the Exposition Universelle/Paris in 1900;

came to New York in 1905;

designed the Only in 1909 (had "Only" one cylinder 5 inch bore x 10 inch stroke, built in Port Jefferson, NY - "with a wheelbase of 104 inches, ability to negotiate 60 miles an hour on 30 miles to the gallon of gasoline, this little beauty must call for your attention");

moved to Cleveland in 1914:
"Mr. Richard, who is unmarried, is a man of extremely versatile abilities. and charming personality. He is one of the best linguists in Cleveland, and has a knowledge of the classic Latin and Greek, and also the modern languages Spanish, Italian, French, Flemish and English. As an American citizen he votes as a democrat. His home is at 1972 East Seventieth Street."
 



#7 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:23

According to the 1920 census, which confirms the Cleveland address, he arrived in the United States in 1904. I can't trace his original arrival, but there is a subsequent one in 1906, which shows his status as a 'non-immigrant resident alien' and his address as 277 York St, Jersey City NY. At that time he was married, since he was travelling with his wife Marguerite. The 1920 census shows him sharing his home with a housekeeper and a male lodger.

 

However, his draft record (same address) gives a birth date of January 14th 1875: he probably didn't serve in the army though, since he is described as being tall, stout and slightly balding and having a 'dislocated leg'.

 

The draft record also confirms the 'Franklin Auto Manufacturing Co', but the address is only partly legible: 7800 [something starting with either F or T], Cleveland.

 

I can't find him on the 1930 census though.



#8 robert dick

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 08:08

The J.J.R. driven by Bert Watson in the 150-mile Metropolitan Cup, Sheepshead Bay, in May 1916 was described as combination of 8-valve Duesenberg engine, 3.98 x 6 inches, with RiChard chassis, wheelbase 101 inches.

 

The RiChard driven by Bob Delno in the Indianapolis qualification trials a few days later in May 1916 was described as being powered by a 4-cylinder, 3.25 by 8.95 inches.

 

Was it the same chassis, or even the same car?
 



#9 Michael Ferner

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 22:08

Interesting, Robert! What source do you have for that description of the JJR?

 

That car, named after its owner Joseph J. Ryan from New York, I had tentatively identified as a 16-valve Duesenberg. It was entered in several more races in 1916, up until December so I don't think it can have been identical to Delno's RiChard.



#10 Michael Ferner

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 22:25

What became of the RiChard? I don't know, but there's a possibilty: it was actually entered at Indy by C. R. Perry & Co. of Cleveland, and later in 1916 a Charles B. (or D.) Perry appeared at Ascot Speedway in a Perry Special, retiring after 20 laps with engine failure. A month or so later, Perry competed in a special Ford race at Ascot, and in 1917 raced the Perry Special at Bakersfield in the 230 CID class. Possibly, Delno took the car back to Arizona where he soon forsook it in favour of a Stutz, with which he won several big dirt track races in 1916/'17. Maybe Perry bought the RiChard, but wrecked the engine at Ascot and replaced it with a Ford.



#11 robert dick

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 09:37

I didn't find any contemporary specifications pointing out that the J.J.R. chassis was supplied by the RiChard Co. of Cleveland. That a RiChard chassis was used for the J.J.R. was mentioned on some older websites.

According to Motor Age and the Automobile, the J.J.R. was powered at Sheepshead Bay by an 8-valve engine, 3.98 by 6 inches, and later in the season (Chicago, etc...) by a 16-valve engine, 3.75 by 6.75 inches. Wheelbase in all races = 101 inches. That the engine was supplied by Duesenberg was not quoted, but is very probable in view of the bore-stroke dimensions.

Concerning Delno's RiChard at Indianapolis in May 1916, Motor Age wrote that the car "had the speed to qualify but weighed some odd 1,000 pounds too much to suit the A.A.A. regulations" (weight had to be between 1,600 and 2,500 pounds).

A few weeks later, Motor Age added that "the wheelbase was unusually long, the motor, running gear and body built without any apparent view of reducing weight."

The 101 inches of the J.J.R. were short in 1916 and are in contradiction with "unusually long," just as the weight.
I agree: Most probably not the same chassis and completely different cars.
 



#12 Michael Ferner

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 20:21

Thanks for the info. That settles the bit about the Perry Special, too - nobody puts a Ford engine in a car that's overweight!! So, just a name coincidence.



#13 robert dick

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:27

From Motor Age, 28 December 1916:
"Raymond Richard, son of Georges Richard, head of the Unic Automobile. Co., Paris, and connected with his father's factory at Puteaux, near Paris, killed on the French front, when his aeroplane fell."
According to the French magazine "L'Aérophile", 15 March 1916, it was an "accident d'aéroplane", on 8 March 1916.
Raymond Richard was born on 17 June 1893 in Paris, and was "titulaire du brevet de pilote-aviateur de l'Aéro Club de France No. 2085, obtenu à la date du 25 juin 1915 sur Blériot".