Hershey

9-10 October 2014

Offered from the collection of John Moir

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Lot 127

1911 Unic GS Roi-des-Belges by Gordon

  • Chassis no. 7184

Sold for $30,250


12 bhp, 800 cc side-valve four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptic leaf-spring suspension, and rear-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 94 in.

  • Offered from the collection of John Moir
  • Pioneering French engineering with bespoke British coachwork
  • Largely original and well-preserved condition
  • An ideal Brass Era tour car


Georges Richard was the scion of the Richard firm, which had been established in Paris around 1850 to make meters, photographic equipment, and, later, bicycles. Like many bicycle manufacturers, the firm turned to building horseless carriages around 1897. Henri Brasier, an engineer, was brought into the firm in 1901, and by 1904, he had eased Richard out and the firm became known first as Richard-Brasier and then, simply, Brasier. It was this company that built John Moir Sr.’s first car, which was purchased in 1912 and is now offered at this auction.

The booted Monsieur Richard went on to establish a second company, Unic, in 1906. The name was used because Richard planned to build a single size of a two-cylinder engine, groups of which would be used to make four- and six-cylinder models, which was truly a “unique” idea. By 1911, engineering had advanced to the point where the 800-cubic centimeter engine of the Unic GS was a single monobloc of four cylinders, but the name persisted.

The Moir Collection’s Unic GS is rather, well, unique. About two-thirds of Unic production was devoted to taxi cabs, which eventually filled the streets of London and Paris. This car, however, had a private owner and was fitted with custom coachwork by the Gordon Carriage Works, of London, United Kingdom. Mr. Moir acquired it from a gentleman in South Africa, which, as he notes, “explains the lack of a top and the fact that the upholstery is, I think, not horse or cowhide but perhaps antelope.”

That unusual upholstery is well worn and stretched, which has given it a wonderfully comfortable patina to match the decades-old green finish on the wooden body. With beautiful brass headlights and side lamps and wooden wheels to match the body, the car has a nicely understated appearance. It has not been driven in some time, and a mechanical service will be required before taking the car to the road.

With some preparation, this will make a most unusual and interesting driver for Brass Era tours, with its history and presentation that are second to none.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

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

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

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

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

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

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

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

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

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

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

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

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

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

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

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