André Paul Victor Morel was born August 3rd 1884 in the French city of Troyes. His parents lived in Buchères. His father passed away when he was 11 years old. He worked in the fields. His parents wanted him to become a priest or a butcher. He worked one year in both fields, without any passion. Afterwards, he became an apprentice in a Maillot's mechanic workshop in Lusigny sur Barse. He went to Paris by bicycle, worked in many small jobs, such as a warehouseman in the Halles in Paris, before becoming an apprentice at Corre in Levallois, where he worked as a mechanic in the automobiles' Tour de France and at the Roue d'Or. He then went to Lyon by bicycle. Without any diplomas from Lyon, the beginnings were difficult. He washed windows at a mechanic's shop and negotiated used cars where he hired by Maurice Perrin, an employee of Marius Berliet. He was noticed for his technical capacities. At the age of 20, he drove and tested the chassis of 40 HP and the Berliet busses, where he soon became the best tester in the Montplaisir plant. He eased the sales of the many Berliet busses. André Morel was the chauffeur of Marius Berliet during his honey moon in Switzerland.
By gaining a good experience, he came back to his natal region to establish himself in Bar sur Aube in 1910. He managed a first mechanic workshop between 1911 and 1914, then he created a bus company. In 1911, he opened a workshop that repaired and sold automobiles and represented the brands of Berliet and Le Zèbre.
At the beginning of the WWI, his busses were taken by the army. He was judged unfit for combat and was sent to work at Berliet's in the shell constructions.
The Great War
During this time, Morel did not want a passive role, he enlisted in the French air forces and soon became a plane pilot. He then received a promotion as a non-commissioned officer and became a general instructor.
He taught 1910 students. His superiors preferred a more extensive teaching than his. André Morel didn’t want quantity, but quality.
Andre Morel was hired April 1st 1919 by the company Le Zebre, as a commercial inspector for 40 departments. But after the economic issues following the war, he has to manage a difficult situation. The cars did not sell well and the factory was unable to build the cars on time.
Andre Morel, driving a type D Zebre, participated in a race in Limonest (Rhone) on April 24th, 1921.
Amilcar was started at the meeting of four men who are at the base of the beginning of this automobile's history: Andre Morel and Edmond Moyet and two business men: Emile Akar and Joseph Lamy. Edmond Moyet was a collaborator of Jules Salomon for Citroen on the 5CV project. He was a passionate man, who worked at night at his home on his personal project: the construction of a cyclecar. The project was well on its way and he wondered how he would be able to create his car; he thus began to search for financial partners.
Due to luck, he met Andre Morel, and the two men went to the EXCELSIOR Brasserie. They sketched the car on the corner of the table cloth during the dinner. (The EXCELSIOR was the meeting place for the important people of the automotive industry.)
Andre Morel introduced the young engineer to Emile Akar who was an important capital holder for Le Zebre and Jospeh Lamy who was the commercial director.
The two men are impressed by Edmond Moyet's project that is very advanced and they accept to construct the cyclecar by creating a new company.
The car is built in the workshop on 34 rue du Chemin Vert in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, behind the Bastille. The car later received the name of Amilcar: an anagram of the names of the two project overseers Lamy and Akar. This name became official on July 19, 1921.
Emile Akar retired from Le Zebre to become the general director of the SNPA. Joseph Lamy and Andre Morel also left Le Zebre to integrate themselves in the new team. Joseph Lamy oversaw the commerical part of the deal; Andre Morel is named overseer of sales and Edmond Moyet became the chief engineer.
To handle the financial aspects and increase the company's equity, they associated the dealers who represented Le Zebre with Dumond from Lyon (who was an agent of multiple automobile brands), Delaunay Belleville, Lorraine- Dietrich, Talbot-Darracq and of course...Le Zebre!
The statuses for "The New Society for the Amilcar Automobile" are made official on September 29, 1921 and in October of 1921, three chassis are ready and displayed in the showroom in the Grand Palais.
A couple days later, the first cyclecar works, and works rather well, allowing Andre Morel to win, within his category, behind the wheel of one of the first Amilcars, at a speed of more than 90 km/h. The race starts off at Anse, to the north of Lyon, on October 23, 1921.
After a second victory on February 19, 1922, in Marly's forest endurance race, Amilcar decided to create a racecar section. Marius Mestivier oversaw this. "Le Bol d'Or" was the first official race.
It was the beginning of fabulous times for Amilcar and the start of a great career for race car driver Andre Morel.
In reality, the idea of the law of Le Troquer of 1920 was not to create sports cars, but more to promote automobile. But when limiting the weight to 350kg, the displacement at 1100cm3 and the number of seats to two, the legislator helped to create a small race cars.
The brand won many title in 1922 including the French Constructor Championship in 1922, ahead of Salmson.
At the start of 1923, Edmond Moyet developped the Tandem version. Morel won the Mont Ventoux race. But the average reliability of the car does not allow Amilcar to win the Constructors pChampionship at the end of the year. Salmon won that title.
During the winter, the reliability of the car was improved and she then won many races.
In September 1925, while Amilcar was moving into St. Denis and that the legal advantage for the cyclecars was disappearing, the company presented the C0. The C0 sports Amilcar was launched on October, 18th, 1925 for the Sainte Barbe race at Gaillon in the region of the Eure. She is the best in her class, at 104 km/h on average. The C0 won many times.With 74 victories in its first year in 1926, strait 6 cylinder, sporty and stylish line, light and agile, the Amilcar is first in its league:
A client version is created, the C6, but it is sold 50% more expensive than a Bugatti 37; only about 40 young racers purchased this car.In 1927 the car is modified with the C0 lateralised version. The transmission now is fitted on the left side of the driver, so he sits lower. The first victory was at Montrepos, near Bordeaux. Then came the victories at Monthlery and Brookland where Morel was first in front of Martin and Vernon Balls.
But the prirorities changed at Amilcar, who now focuses on the market of the luxury cars, especially the six cylinder Amilcar. The means allowed to racing decreased.
During the winter of 1927-1928 were held the races on the French Riviera and at Marseille at the start of 1928.The C0 was equipped with a bigger engine that the 1270 cc to race in the upper class.
Andre Morel participated in the Antibes Race and was the winner of two races: cotes de la Baraque and the grand prix of Rome.
The MCO is then launched, skinnier, more of a one-seat car.August 15th, 1928 : the MCO hit 208km/h, driven by Morel during a manifestation that was organized by the motorcyclist union, at Torvillier. But the record was not recorded.
August 26th, 1928 at Arpajon, the record was officially broken : the 1270 cc was recorded going 211 km/h under harsh rain conditions, and the 1100cc (car) at 207 km/h.Morel won the three hill race of the 17 turns at Morllaas (hillclimbs race close to the city of Pau and Gaillon.) He finished first at La Baraque.
Unfortunately, the races are stopped at the end of the season due to the crisis of 1929, because of the expensive development of the V8. Andre Morel was the only one who stayed in the competition department.Early 1929, he participated in the hillclimbs race of the Michelet boulevard at Marseille and at the "not still kilometer"" (to be improved) at Geneva.
March 17th, 1929 was the offical end of the race era for Amilcar.Andre Morel had only two accidents while driving for Amilcar: burnt feet (fire).
Andre Morel left Amilcar in 1929.
First race was on September 28, 2924 at the Grand Prix of San Sebastian with the 12 cylinder Delage.
At the Lyon Grand Prix, a young Alfa Romeo mechanic, was impressed by the V12 Delage: it was Enzo Ferrari. Later Ferrari would ask Joachim Colombo to draw him a V12 inspired by the Delage engine for his cars. Andre Morel finished third, behind Albert Divo.
In 1926, the Delage had an 8 cylinder engine. On July 18th, 1926, at San Sebastian (good ranking) and a victory at Brookland in 1926. It is during the San Sebastian race that Morel burnt himself with the exhaust pipe. Per Fleurette Morel, he is said to have stopped his car and jumped into a bucket filled with Champaign, waiting for the winner of the race. The pipe shape was then changed.1927 : a new car was designed with an exhaust pipe on the other side. ACF Monthlery: Three first place victories. Rovert Benoit, Edmond Bourlier and Morel third. Delage ended up winning the world constructor championship .
Hudson and Essex
In April of 1929, Joseph Lamy chose
Andre Morel as a representative of
the brands Hudson and Essex.
Andre Morel found this work boring. So he quitted Hudson and found a short-term job at Minerva. Minerva was absorbed by its competitor Imperia.
During and After WWII
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