click to enlarge



Two men, two marques: the artisan's genius



The 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.

click to enlarge
André 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.
To 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".

click to enlarge
click to enlarge
This 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.

click to enlarge
From 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.

Very 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!

click to enlarge


The 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 etc !

Sport-Auto 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!
click to enlarge
In 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 price.

Thus, 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!
The 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.
The 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 its prime".
click to enlarge

click to enlarge


In 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 height.
The 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.

In 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 their effectiveness.
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 to become.

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.