Classic Snapshot From 1961: Gregoire Sport Cabriolet – Front Overhang Pioneer

Time to flip open the 1961 Auto-parade again. This time, it’s a car I’ve seen numerous times in these vintage catalogs, but didn’t know enough about. Time to do a little digging: Andre Gregoire was a true pioneer in automotive technology, having invented the Tracta universal joint that advanced the state of front wheel drive technology. In the twenties and early thirties , a series of Tracta models were built, but the firm was wiped out in 1934. But Gregoire planned a comeback:

In 1955, Gregoire unveiled the very sophisticated prototype of the Sports Cabriolet, with a body by Chapron. Needless to say, it had a front wheel drive, with a boxer four mounted ahead of the front wheels, a lá Citroen and Subaru. A 2.2 liter unit, it was also supercharged, and put out 125 hp. But the whole project came to naught, and only four examples were ever built. Yet it kept showing up in the annual World-Parades, right through 1961. An odd mixture of early Thunderbird and Mercedes 190 SL, with a front overhang that was far ahead of the times.