THE illustrated 1910 Clement Bayard motor-car recently brought $50,000 at auction.
Possibly this is the same model listed in a Cohn’s Bros Victoria Brewery 1915 “Inventory of Plant” notebook recently catalogued by the Bendigo Historical Society.
Among the contents and valuation of items within the Brewery Cellar, Wines & Spirits Store, Cooper Shed, Malt House, Changing Room, Carpenter Shed, Stables, Blacksmith, and other departments was finally a Clement Bayard as well as a Talbot motor-car.
Both cars had close Paris and London manufacture connections, with the Clement Bayard valued by Cohn’s at £150 ($300) and the Talbot at £500 ($1000). When a working man’s weekly wage was the equivalent of $5.50, the cars were extremely expensive but fantastically cheap by today’s standard judged by the recent auction price.
Neither of Cohn’s cars had its year of manufacture listed; however, based upon the purchase price at the time, the Clement Bayard was a few years old and the Talbot probably brand new.
The Talbot motor car had a great reputation in Australia at a time when speed record attempts between capital cities was common. A Talbot driven by Henry Dutton and Horace Aunger was the first in 1907 to drive from Adelaide to Darwin passing through Central Australia.
Cohn’s in 1915 was embracing motor car and motor cycle technology for personal purposes, but were still using horse drawn wagons for their brewing and cordial deliveries.
The 13 heavy horses used to pull wagons were valued at £25 ($50) each. Their 1-3 ton beer wagon was valued at £80 ($160), while several cordial wagons were valued at £45 ($90) each.
It wasn’t until after World War I in the 1920s that motorised trucks became more commonly available and Cohn’s Bros Brewery deliveries began to be motorised.