Albert Clément

Albert Clément

7/7/1883 - 17/5/1907

Albert Clément was born in Paris in the 17éme arrondissement, the son of Adolphe Clément who started building cars in 1899. In 1903 Adolphe added the Bayard name and his cars became Clément-Bayard. Adolphe raced a Panhard-Levassor in the Tour de France Auto in 1899, finishing 7th and also in the Paris to Berlin race in 1901, finishing 20th.

Albert himself started racing in 1904 when he finished 10th in the French Elimination trials for the Gordon Bennett Trophy. Later in the year he travelled to America where he came second in the Vanderbilt Cup.

An accomplished driver, in 1905 he retired on the first lap of the Gordon Bennett Elimination race. Amongst his other races, he finished 3rd in the 1906 Grand Prix de l'ACF, 4th in the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup and 6th in the Ardennes Circuit Race.

On the final day of practice for the Grand Prix de l'ACF, Albert and Gauderman, a well-known footballer who was the owner of the car and who had replaced Albert's regular riding mechanic Vénus, stopped at Eu for refreshments and to warm up. They set off again but near Saint Martin en Campagne, 13km past Dieppe, he took a right hand bend too fast and the car left the road. It looked like it was going to recover but then hit a pile of sand which they had not seen as it was overgrown with grass. The car was launched into the air. Gauderman was thrown clear but Albert clung onto the wheel and stayed with the car as it rolled over several times, coming to rest 25 meters further on. Clément perished at the scene from a broken neck and was laid out on a bed at the Au Rendez-vous des Chasseurs Café in Saint Martin en Campagne. Gauderman had only minor injuries.

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