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1903 DE DION 6 HP TYPE Q
1903 De Dion 6 hp Type Q

1904 DE DION 10 HP TWIN
1904 De Dion 10 hp Type W


1904 De Dion 10 hp Type W

1904 DE DION TYPE Y 6 HP
1904 De Dion Type Y 6 hp

1899 DE DION TRIKE 1.75 HP
1899 De Dion Trike 1.75 hp

DE DION BOUTON

In the days when French aristocrats did not work, and certainly not in engineering, Count (later Marquis) Albert De Dion formed a partnership in 1882 with the brothers-in law Georges Bouton and Charles Trepardoux to make steam-powered vehicles. De Dion wanted to make cars that were simple and reliable, with adequate performance, and inexpensive. The steamers did not really meet these objectives. However, once Bouton developed a high-speed internal combustion engine in 1895 this soon led to exactly what was wanted. These engines powered the Parisian firm's mass-produced motor tricycles and they were sold in their thousands to other motor vehicle makers world wide.

A small four-wheeled car was introduced in 1899 that had all the essential De Dion Bouton features that served the firm for many years to come. The only major change was the moving of the engine from a rear location to the front in 1902. Enduring features were the high-speed water-cooled engine with reliable electric ignition, a gearbox in which each gear had its own individual expanding clutch that gave smooth gear changes, this gearbox being bolted to the tubular chassis with the final drive via what was called a De Dion back axle, whereby the rear wheels were carried on a 'dead' axle beam and the drive was by universally-jointed half-shafts.

Whilst not fast cars, De Dion Boutons are lively, and light and easy to drive. For their day they sold in significant numbers (over 2000 in 1902) and their survival rate is high. The firm went on to make the first production v8-engined car in 1910 and it continued in business until 1950, 12 years after the death of engineering genius Bouton and four years after that of De Dion, both of whom had given a lifetime of service to their firm and the French motor industry.

6 HP DE DION ENGINE
6 hp De Dion Engine

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