1959 Deutsch et Bonnet HBR4 Super Rallye Pilots: G. Laffargue, J. Faucher Team: Jacques Faucher Race: DNF (GT 0.8 class) at Le Mans in 1959 Ixo - LMC 102 (diecast)
Produced from 1954 to 1959, the Deutsch et Bonnet (DB) HBR series was created for one single purpose: a small displacement car for long distance competition. The cars were absurdly spartan, and the only concessions to comfort were there to meet regulations. And, also to suit drivers who had to drive their race cars to the track. Yes, the idea was to drive your own race car from your house to the track. Even if the track was in another country. The engine was a Panhard boxer 2 cylinders with 745 cm³ of displacement and SOHC. These models were called HBR4 to reflect that they were in the 4CV (tax horsepower) category of the French taxation system. Basically, the car was supposed to be economic and reliable.
Jacques Faucher, a privateer, enrolled the DB HBR 4 #59 (chassis #940) in the 24 Heures du Mans of 1959, but had to retire after just 53 laps due to engine failure. Another oddball for my collection, this time from Ixo. I would say the model is almost terrific. The almost part in my assessment is due to the botched number plate paint job on the driver’s side of my car. If not for that, the photo-etched (!) wipers and nice headlights would allow a better rating. If not for the bad paint job, this is a model that I would rate as nice as my Aston DBR1/300. However, even without the defect, I think this HBR4 is only for the Le Mans nut.