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Today it is one of the Grand Prix items on specialist collectors’ lists.

Although not exactly a rarity, as readers of these pages will know, it is very unusual to see three of these 21in (53cm) long productions by the Briare works appear on the UK auction grid in the same month.

Tinplate racer

An example appeared at Brightwells’ (22% buyer’s premium) sale in Leominster on March 20-21.

In very good condition, it was estimated at £3000- 5000. That is less than some which have featured on these pages have made but the figure proved an accurate assessment of the current market when the car sold to a London dealer at £5200.

The two 1930s examples sold by toy specialist C&T (20% buyer’s premium) in Tunbridge Wells on March 13 both had pressed steel bodies.

The model in French racing blue was in original and excellent overall condition with working motor, although lacking a key. Estimated at £2500-3500, it sold at £5400.

Described as in fair to good condition in the full catalogue notes, the other in white had its key but was missing its fuel and radiator caps. Against a £1500-2000 estimate, it sold at £4600.