One-off Bodin hits Bressuire
GP HISTORIQUE DE BRESSUIRE, FRANCE
André Bodin entered his selfbuilt PRAB 1100 sports car racer in the Fifties-style street race weekend in western France.
1969 PRAB 1100 Berlinette
‘Back in the Sixties, Paul Rétailleau and I put in over 10,000 hours to create our car, the PRAB,’ says co-creator André Bodin. ‘We were in the final year of our engineering baccalaureates and wanted to create a pair of sports coupés, one for each of us.
‘We started with an accident damaged Renault R8 Major which provided the chassis, motor and mechanics. Using plywood formers, we shaped the body lines and used these to produce moulds for the glassfibre body parts. The wooden dashboard is bespoke, the seats scratch built and hand trimmed in leather, and we hand-finished the bodies when they returned from moulding. Much preparation work followed to make the car acceptable for homologation by the Services des Mines (the French MOT test equivalent). But it eventually issued a certificate of conformity.
‘The 1108cc four-cylinder R1132 engine, with a four-speed manual gearbox, is untuned so produces just 50bhp. However the car’s good for a maximum 130kph – I proved mine on the Dijonprénois circuit,’ Bodin explains. ‘It handles well and the industry seemed impressed. But there are so many good projects and not all get to production.’