White Chenard et Walcker Type U Torpedo from 1923 with four cylinders (3000 cc). Max. speed: 90 km/h. Made in France
Chenard-Walcker, also known as Chenard & Walcker, was a French automobile and commercial vehicle manufacturer from 1898 to 1946. Chenard-Walcker then designed and manufactured trucks marketed via Peugeot sales channels until the 1970s. The factory was at first in Asnières-sur-Seine moving to Gennevilliers in 1906. The make is remembered as the winner of the very first Le Mans 24 Hours Race in 1923.
Ernest Chenard (1861–1922) was a railway engineer and maker of bicycles with a factory in the rue de Normandie at Asnières-sur-Seine, then just outside Paris on its north side. He joined with mining engineer Henri Walcker (1877–1912) in 1898 to make motor tricycles.
Together they founded their automobile business on 19 January 1899, with Chenard in charge of design and Walcker sales and finance. The business was formally registered as Chenard, Walcker et Compagnie in 1900. In order to ensure short-term commercial viability they started out producing a quadricycle, but in 1900 their “first true automobile”, the “Chenard et Walcker Type A” was homologated with the authorities.
This had a two-cylinder, 1,160 cc (71 cu in) engine of their own design which drove the rear wheels through a four-speed gearbox and an unusual transmission system. From the gearbox there were two drive shafts, one to each rear hub, with the hubs driven by gear teeth cut on the inside. The car was shown at the 1901 Paris Salon. The “Chenard et Walcker Type B” followed in 1901 and a fuller range was very soon on offer.