men, two marques: the artisan's genius
career of Andre Marcadier
(1925-2013), an affable and colourful Lyonnais, began in 1948, building
high-quality bicycles using duralumin for the frames. This was a delicate,
time-consuming process, consisting first of rolling aluminium sheets into
tubing and then welding the entire seam----- a real work of art!
Still on only two wheels, he then switched his talents to competition motor-cycles,
building frames around various engines: one of these came second in the
1957 Monza Grand Prix.
Around this time karting began in Europe, and Marcadier soon began building
simple, light chassis, something which became a feature of his long and
varied career. The overwhelming success, in 1961,of the team from Lyon (Verd,
Dumont, Janoray) included the
European endurance title.
Marcadier's career took a decisive step when , in the early 1960's, he
met a person who was beginning to make a name for himself in motor sport
circles: none other than Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus.
make motor sport in France an affordable activity, it was necessary,
as the English had done, to produce a small, two-seater tubular-chassis
sports car incorporating a cheap, small-capacity mass-produced engine.
To keep co ts down , this would be sold as a kit.
Marcadier got together with a local-panel-beater, Marcel Founier, and
together they created Fournier-Marcadier .
Lat the end of 1963 they launched what was to become France's
first "kit" sports car".
was a two-seater with an elegant open-top fibreglass body, not unlike the
Lotus 23. The engine was located centrally in a superb tubular chassis,
which was remarkably sophisticated taking into account the low-cost aim.
3600 enquiries flowed in from prospective purchasers and other interested
parties. The model became a great success in competition: Sport-Auto
magazine organised a championship around it.
1966 onwards, the two colleagues launched a single-seater to take part in
the national championship which
eventually became known as Formule France.
Like the sports car, it was very light (320 kgs), with a well-designed chassis.
The engine was from the Renault 8 Major, which had enough power to make
the car quite lively, as testified by Jean-Pierre Beltoise in a test he
did for Sport-Auto.
shortly afterwards, the car was fitted with a Renault 8 Gordini engine,
and achieved several excellent results in Formula Libre in the hands
of Roger Cohen, the "works" driver. It even took overall honours against
Formula 3 single-seaters!
commercial success of the Barzoi shouldn't detract fron its competition
success: Francois Lacarrau took second place in the 1968 Grand Prix
de Paris at Montlhery, against such well-known names as Servoz-Gavin,
Wicky, Jungenet etc armed with Matra 470BRM, Ferrari, Porsche 906's
remembered it as a "David versus Goliath" race, with the little
Barzoi, powered by a 105 Bhp R8Gordini engine, up against cars with
250 to 400 Bhp!
1970 Marcel Fournier retired, leaving Andre Marcadier to continue
working away. In the same year he produced a two-seater sports-racer
specifically for competition, and which used the Barzoi as its base.
This model, called Can-Am after the American cars which inspired
its appearance, was the first of a series which allowed talented
amateur drivers to have a real competition sports racer at a budget
at the 1975 French mountain-climb championships, Marcadiers,
powered by Renault 8 Gordini 1300cc engines, finished 4th and
5th, up against Formula 2 single-seaters and 2-litre prototypes!
1978 season brought even greater success in what was already
becoming a more "professional" discipline: Marcadier's final
creation, an elegant sports racer powered by a 300 Bhp Ford-Hart
2-litre engine,totally dominated its class and even worried
the Formula 2 single-seaters which, due to their handling
and low weight, were the quickest cars on the mountains.
driver was not altogether unknown:
Roger Rivoire had been an apprentive at Fournier-Marcadier
who, in 1974, had come very close to becoming French mountain-climb
champion).The low-budget but talented Marcadier/Rivoire
combination won its class on 11 out of 14 events: in the
3 other events the car was using an engine which was "past
early 1967, a brilliant develpoment of the open-top sports car emerged
from the Lyon workshops: this was the unforgettable Barzoi.It took
its mechanicals from the earlier model, but had a roof and doors incorporated,
to cater for buyers who wanted a more usable car. Like the Mercedes
300SL, it had gull-wing doors because of its tubular chassis and low
Barzoi Mk.1 was succeeded by the Mk.2, powered by a Simca 1000 Rallye 2
engine, since by now Renault had ceased to produce the 8 Gordini engine
.It was a futuristic concept which, whilst not possessing the grace of its
memorable predecessor, nevertheless won plaudits for its road-holding, derived
from the competition sports-racers.
conclusion, history will remember these models as clever designs which
allowed mass-produced mechanicals to be fully exploited. Their lightness
reflected their build quality, just as their competition success reflected
But Fournier-Marcadier's greatest contribution was to spear-head the
drive to make motor sport accessible to those on a low budget at a
time when this was not yet the French sporting priority it was later
Yesterday, the story of Fournier-Marcadier cars continues. These cars
have been appreciated by car lovers and collectors from various countries,
gleaning their presting in numerous classic car meetings.