One of the most successful drivers of the early years, Charron was lucky to survive when a St. Bernard dog became wedged between the right wheel and the suspension, jamming the steering!
Fernand Charron was one of the most successful drivers of the early years. In 1898 he won the Marseille-Nice in a Panhard 6 hp and the Paris-Amsterdam-Paris in a Panhard 8 hp.
He won the Paris-Bordeaux race in 1899, also in a Panhard, this time a 12hp, at an average speed of 29.9 mph. In 1900 he won the Coupe Internationale, 'Gordon Bennett Trophy' (Paris-Lyon), 14 6 1900: in a Panhard 24 hp . Despite losing control at 60 mph, when a St. Bernard dog wedged itself between the right wheel and spring and jammed the steering. But the former cycling champion regained the road and overcame a damaged axle to win an average of 38.6 mph. History does not record the fate of the St Bernard.
He was also the owner of Alda. A French automobile manufactured between 1912 and 1922. The car had a dashboard radiator and a 3187cc four-cylinder engine that was claimed to be capable of going from "6 to 47 mph in top gear". Cars were available with the Henriod rotary valve system; another version featuring six cylinders was also offered. Post-war, the four was the only model offered, though it was rebored to 3563cc. The Alda is most remarkable, if at all, for the manner in which its name was chosen. "ALDA" was an acronym, standing for "Ah - La Délicieuse Automobile!". The name was invented by the readers of the magazine l'Auto; this, to be sure, is a highly unusual, if not unique, manner of choosing the name of an automotive marque.