The CG 1300 is a car unknown to many outside of its native France, it was the fastest and most powerful car built by the legendary little coachbuilder Chappe et Gessalin, best known for designing and constructing the original Alpine A106, A108, and the A110 GT4 2+2.
Perhaps even more impressive than this was the fact that the Chappe et Gessalin logo was the only automotive logo designed by Albert Uderzo, the artist responsible for the Asterix comic book series.
The Chappe et Gessalin CG 1300
The Chappe et Gessalin CG 1300 was the final model built by the boutique French car maker, it was also the fastest and most powerful full production road car they ever offered.
The CG series was offered in three major iterations, the CG 1000, CG 1200, and the CG 1300. As you may have guessed the “CG” stands for “Chappe et Gessalin” and the number is a reference to the engine capacity.
The CG 1000 was offered as both a coupe and a convertible, the model was powered by the 944cc inline 4-cylinder Simca engine with a cross flow aluminum cylinder head and a cast-iron block. It was fitted in the rear, bolted to a 4-speed transaxle. Though the car was beautiful it was considered underpowered by some, it initially produced 39.4 hp and 54.9 lb ft of torque, later versions would produce 48.4 hp and 61.1 ft lbs.
The CG 1200 was also offered as a coupe or a convertible with the same fibreglass body and steel chassis construction to keep weight as low as possible. The CG 1200 produced between 79.0 and 83.8 hp (a lightweight racing special called the 548 produced 118.4 hp) depending on sub-model, with between 76 and 77.7 ft lbs of torque.
In 1972 the CG 1300 was released as a coupe only with engine power ranging from 80.9 hp to 93.7 hp and 79.6 to 85.3 ft lbs of torque. This model was offered from 1972 till 1974 and just 95 were made, as with the other cars in the CG series, the CG 1300 had styling somewhat similar to the Alpines due to their shared heritage, and cars from Chappe et Gessalin and Alpine competed together in many races, rallies, and hill climbs during the era.
It’s believed that only 405 examples of the CG series were made in total, with 30 CG 1000s, 280 CG 1200s, and 95 CG 1300s produced. Today the surviving cars are exceptionally rare and highly sought after by enthusiasts, they’re perfect for vintage motorsport competition and the French are (understandably) fiercely proud of them.
The 1973 Chappe et Gessalin CG 1300
The CG 1300 you see here is a 1973 example that’s been set up for classic motor racing with a six point roll cage, period correct bucket seats, a leather-rimmed alloy steering wheel, ATE front brake calipers, front and rear tow points, a main electrical kill switch, four point harnesses, and a fire extinguisher.
Under the engine cover you’ll find a worked 1294cc inline-4 cylinder engine with a large valve cylinder head, long tube headers, twin side draught Weber 40 DCOE carburettors, and a cold air intake fed by a scoop on the right rear quarter panel.
Between 2012 and 2014 the chassis, running gear, and engine were restored and rebuilt for racing, while the original character of the body was carefully preserved. It’s now due to roll across the auction block with Artcurial on the 17th of June with an estimated value of between €50,000 and €80,000. If you’d like to read more about the car or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
Images courtesy of Artcurial
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.