Alexandre Darracq

Alexandre Darracq

Alexandre Darracq

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Alexandre Darracq (10 November 1855–1931) was a French automobile manufacturer.

Born Pierre Alexandre Darracq in Bordeaux, France, of Basque parents, he trained as a draftsman at the Arsenal in Tarbes, in the Hautes-Pyrénées département. He later worked at the Hurtu factory manufacturing sewing machines, and Darracq designed a machine that won a gold medal at the 1889 Paris exhibition. He established the Gladiator Cycle Company in 1891. He sold his very successful company in 1896 for a substantial amount and for a short time went into the business of manufacturing electric cars as well as acquiring an interest in Millet motor bicycles. He established Automobiles Darracq S.A. in Suresnes, near Paris where he pioneered the making of the chassis from pressed steel and the use of production machinery in place of hand labor. Despite his establishing an automobile business, Alexandre Darracq was a man who did not like driving cars or even being driven in them. For him, it was just pursuing his interest in manufacturing and making money.

By 1904, Darracq was producing more than ten percent of all automobiles in France. His company became involved with Grand Prix motor racing, winning a number of major races, including the Vanderbilt Cup in the United States and twice setting a new land speed record in 1904 and 1905. Racing success raised the image of the Darracq marque so that he was able...
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