8 February 2017


Lot 101

1956 Inter 175A Berline

  • Chassis no. 1199
  • Engine no. 33314

Sold for €78.400

Documents: French Certificat d’Immatriculation

8 bhp, 175 cc one-cylinder, two-stroke Ydral engine; three-speed manual transmission; and cable brakes. Wheelbase: 3,000 mm

  • One of an estimated 30 surviving examples
  • Stunning aeroplane-like design elements

Sitting in the driver’s seat of the Inter 175A Berline, one can be forgiven for forgetting they are actually driving a car and not piloting an aeroplane. Created by Le Société Nationale de Construction Aéronautique du Nord (SNCAN) on behalf of a Parisian firm, the ‘Autoscooter’s’ design does not stray far from its larger flying cousins.

First shown at the 1953 Paris Motor Salon, the Inter 175A Berline is believed to have been created to compete with the Messerschmitt KR-175, also built by an aeronautic firm and featuring similar styling. Although three styles of the microcar were displayed in Paris, including the very rare convertible ‘Torpedo’ version, it was the 175A Berline model, with its domed roof and skylight, that was ultimately put into production. An estimated 300 Inters were eventually made between 1953 and 1956, with less than 10 percent believed to remain in existence.

Brimming with unique aviation elements, perhaps the most well-known feature is the helicopter-type starter, the Westinghouse Gyrostarter. This starts the car with an electrical whine before engaging the Ydral one-cylinder, two-stroke engine when a lever is pressed. Additional aircraft-like features include a tandem seating arrangement, a steering handlebar, a tapered tail, and a Cyclops headlight. Although several elements carried on throughout production, no two cars were ever completely identical, and owners take great delight in comparing their vehicles’ special qualities.

Ideal for any collector interested in the very unique and very rare, the opportunity to own such a fascinating little automobile should not be missed.

Monocylindre deux-temps Ydral, 175 cm3, 8 ch, transmission manuelle trois rapports, freins à câbles. Empattement 3 000 mm.

• Environ 30 exemplaires survivants
• Étonnant design inspiré de l'aviation

Installé dans le siège de l'Inter 175 A, on pourrait presque se croire aux commandes d'un avion ! Réalisé par la Société Nationale de Construction Aéronautique du Nord (SNCAN) à la demande d'une entreprise parisienne, l'Autoscooter ne s'éloigne pas beaucoup dans sa conception de ses cousins volants.

Présenté au Salon de Paris 1953, l'Inter 175 A aurait été conçu pour concurrencer le Messerschmitt KR-175, lui aussi produit par un constructeur aéronautique et offrant un style de même inspiration. Bien que trois types de carrosserie aient été présentés, dont une version "torpédo" découvrable, c'est le 175 A "berline" qui a été produit, avec dôme basculant sur le côté et toit ouvrant. On estime la production totale de 1953 à 1956 à 300 exemplaires, dont moins de 10% auraient survécu.

Avec son allure de fuselage d'avion, l'Inter comporte un dispositif de démarrage particulièrement original, un Gyrostarter Westinghouse. Il s'agit d'un moteur électrique qui se met en route dans un sifflement et entraîne un volant d'inertie qui, une fois lancé, peut s'enclencher sur le monocylindre deux-temps Ydral pour le mettre en route. Également de style aviation, la voiture comporte deux sièges en tandem, un guidon en guise de volant, une queue en pointe et un phare cyclope. Bien que le modèle n'ait pas connu d'importante modification en cours de production, de légères différences existent d'un Inter à l'autre et les propriétaires prennent beaucoup de plaisir à comparer leurs machines.

Idéale pour un collectionneur intéressé par ce qui est très original et rare, cette fascinante petite automobile constitue une opportunité qui ne doit pas être manquée.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more