Georges Richard started production of the Type A1 in earnest after renting out a factory in Quai Nacionale, Puteaux.
A relatively simple car, the Type A1 was equipped with a two-cylinder engine that outputted somewhere between 10 to 12hp. The company later added the option of a four-cylinder engine in an effort to increase the car’s appeal.
This very Type A1, being one of the first chassis to be produced by the brand is fitted with the smaller two-seater body. It has a two-cylinder 1800cc motor, magnetic ignition and produces 12hp.
To compensate for the somewhat low power, the car was made very light, weighing in at only 830 kg. That nimble mass, combined with a three-speed gearbox, allowed the Type A1 to reach a very respectable top speed of 60 km/h.
According to a 1909 invoice, the car was ordered directly from the brand’s Puteaux factory on June 15th, by Jacinto Manuel Faleiro of Castro Verde. At that time in 1909, the type A1 came with a price tag of 9,008.50 Francs.
Incredibly, Jacinto Manuel Faleiro remained the sole owner of the car, which he kept for 50 years until he offered it to the museum in the late 1960s for restoration. Owing to its careful ownership and meticulous storage in Alentejo, the car was very well maintained when it was received by the museum.
It was then very rapidly restored to the original 1909 factory specification. The restoration work focused mainly on the Double-Phaeton body, which was famous for having removable rear seats that could be replaced with a luggage rack.
The restored Unic has participated in several national and international events, including the 1977 Tatry-Ostrava Rally in the former Czechoslovakia and the 1978 Rally d’Occitanie in Toulouse.
The car also took part in the 99th year celebration of the Paris-Rouen rally which took place in 1993. And on the Portuguese national scene, this Type A1 competed in the 1962 Rallye Donas Elviras.
In addition to being one of the first cars to be produced by the French brand, this particular Unic Type A1 in the Museu do Caramulo is quite rare indeed.
According to Club Unic, of the 30,000 Unics produced before the first world war, only 160 survived, and out of that 160, only two are Type A1’s, making this car extremely unique. It has been duly classified by the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain with the registration number 939.