Lot 561: De Dion Bouton 4�hp Vis-�-Vis
The names of De Dion and Bouton are inextricably linked with the pioneer years of the motor car, initially in company with Tr�pardoux in the building of light steam carriages, the first of which appeared in 1883. In the early 1890s De Dion and Bouton turned their attention to the internal combustion engine, much to the annoyance of Tr�pardoux who quit in 1894, leaving his erstwhile partners to develop what was, in effect, the first high-speed internal combustion engine. Engineer Bouton's power units developed significantly greater output than their contemporaries from Daimler and Benz, yet matched them for reliability. Small wonder then that De Dion Bouton engines were adopted by many other manufacturers of tricycles, quadricycles, and light cars, both in Europe and the United States, influenced no doubt by the success of the flying tricycles in such events as the Paris-Bordeaux and other endurance races. Early 137cc engines ran at speeds of up to 1,500rpm, and the first internal combustion-engined tricycles were built in 1895. The 250cc engine of 1896 developed approximately 1�hp and made the contemporary Benz engines seem positively antiquated. Early De Dions were rear engined and of the vis-�-vis type where the passengers sat facing the driver but from 1902 onwards the firm began to adopt what would become accepted as the conventional layout for a motor car, one of the first of this kind being the Type O. By this time, De Dion's fast-revving, single-cylinder engines were offered in 4�hp, 6hp and 8hp variants. All featured mechanical inlet and atmospheric exhaust valves, and were noted for their reliability, which is borne out by the number surviving today. The 4�hp model offered here was delivered new in the Netherlands to B A Jansen Cycles and comes with the original bill of sale dated 26th January 1902. The car has remained in the Netherlands ever since, enjoying two owners after Jansen (Messrs Daams and Laarman) before being purchased by the current (fourth) owner in 1976. Restored in the 1950s, it also benefits from considerable subsequent refurbishment including a transmission overhaul (c.2003), a new big-end bearing (c.2005) and new wheel spokes (2010). More recently (in 2011) the electrics were renewed and the body repaired and repainted together with the chassis. The leather upholstery remains original. A particularly interesting aspect are its oversize rear wheels. These are thought to have been part of its original specification, being fitted to take advantage of the flat landscape in the Netherlands and to provide greater outright speed than on standard cars. While in the vendor's care the De Dion has taken part in various rallies including Bodensee, Vannes, Luc L�man and the London-Brighton, the latter on three occasions. One of a mere handful of surviving 1901 De Dions, the car is offered with VCC dating certificate (No. 1335), assorted photographs, FIVA identity card and Netherlands registration papers.
Grand Palais Sale|
Bonhams, Paris, France
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