Mateu at the wheel of his Loryc with his cousin Joaquín.

Mateu at the wheel of his Loryc with his cousin Joaquín.

18-01-2021Jaime Canudas

Way back in the 1920’s, there used to be a car factory in Avenida Gabriel Alomar i Villalonga in Palma.

The Loryc car was an iconic piece of machinery and was built by LORYC S. en C., which is an acronym of the initials of its main shareholders: Rafael de Lacy and Gual, Minerva car brand representative; Albert Ouvriard, French Engineer, Antonio Ribas Reus, Naval Transporter and Alzamora S.A.

Fotos Antiguas de Mallorca or FAM has lots of photos of Loryc cars and there's also lots of information in Jaime Canudas' blog dedicated to the Loryc at https://loryc-racing.blogspot.com.

Jaime’s passion for Lorycs, which were nicknamed ‘the sardine’ because of their shape and colour is shared by Mateu Nicolau who adores them.

The restoration of PM-583 began 17 years ago.

Mateu couldn’t believe his luck when he found the wreck of a Loryc with the registration PM-583 on a farm in Mallorca and he’s spent the last 17 years lovingly restoring it.

“Toni Batle, who has recovered four Lorycs, told me that there was a Loryc on the Son Lladonet Estate in Campos,” explains Mateu. “I started researching through Traffic, heirs and former owners to try and track down the car and in the end the person who was running the farm called me and told me that there was something piled up inside a mill tower on the property,” he adds. “The wheels and engine parts were there; the chassis was half sunk into the ground and I found the gearbox, then I saw the registration. The Loryc ‘sardine’ a Mallorcan icon.”

Joaquín, Mateu, Jaume the upholsterer and Giorgio, bodywork repairer with the Loryc.

The mechanics, gearbox and transmission were put together in Campos and the car is now in Barcelona where mechanics are rebuilding the body.

The first Loryc to be registered was a torpedo model, which took to the streets on November 1921 and had the registration number PM 507. It had a steel plate and the brakes only worked on the back wheels.

The ‘sardine’ was next to appear. It was the first model with a six-horsepower French Ruby racing engine and had a separate gearbox, three forward gears and one reverse gear. The tyres measured 710 x 90 mm and the headlights were powered by acetylene gas.

The ‘sardine’ Loryc can reach 110-115 kilometres per hour, but without front brakes I wouldn't risk going at that speed,” admits Mateu. “We plan to finish it by the end of the year but we still have to finish the tank, send the radiator to France and add details such as a clock and a track rev counter, then we’ll test drive it and organise a presentation.”

Loryc also manufactured a competition model with a 35 horsepower, four-cylinder 1000cc Scap engine. It was highly successful, taking 2nd and 3rd place in the Armengué Trophy with the fastest lap of 93.50 km an hour and 1st place in the IV Vuelta a Catalunya in 1922.

There are only a dozen Loryc cars left in Mallorca.

The Loryc in the 1920's.

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