UNIC L1 NT from 1924, France: four cylinders, 10 HP, 70 km/h
Unic was a French manufacturer founded in 1905, and active as an automobile producer until July 1938. After this the company continued to produce commercial vehicles, retaining its independence for a further fourteen years before being purchased in 1952 by Henri Pigozzi, who was keen to develop Unic as a commercial vehicle arm of the then flourishing Simca business.
Unic was founded by Georges Richard after he left Richard-Brasier. In 1905 Richard had a meeting with the entrepreneur-financier Baron Henri de Rothschild and obtained funding for the creation of the “société anonyme des automobiles Unic”, based at Puteaux. The objective was to manufacture “unique” (rather than mainstream) vehicles, and at the start the company made only light cars and taxis with two-cylinder and four-cylinder engines.
The taxi business would remain important to Unic for more than three decades, while Rothschild’s steady financial support through good times and bad, provided stability which sustained the business, critically during the immediate post-war years.
By the time of the 19th Paris Motor Show, in October 1924, Unic were exhibiting three passenger cars. All had four cylinder engines, although large 4-cylinder engines such as that fitted in the 16HP model were by now seen as rather old fashioned:
Unic “Type L1T” 10 CV/HP: 4-cylinder 1843 cc: wheelbase 3,050 mm (120.1 in)
Unic “Type L3T” 11 CV/HP: 4-cylinder 2000 cc: wheelbase 3,050 mm (120.1 in)
Unic 16 CV/HP: 4-cylinder 3450 cc: wheelbase 3,450 mm (135.8 in)