OverviewBallot was a French automobile manufacturer who made cars between 1921 and 1932.
The Ballot brothers, Edouard and Maurice, founded their company in 1905. Before World War I they manufactured automobile and marine engines. The company was re-founded as Etablissements Ballot SA in 1910.
Edouard Ballot was well-known as a designer of reliable engines. He helped Ettore Bugatti in developing his first engines. After World War I, the company entered motor racing with a straight-eight cylinder 4.9 litre car for the 1921 French Grand Prix. As well as racing engines, the company made a range of road engines which were fitted to their own production cars.
The first road car was a 2 litre tourer called Ballot 2 LS. In 1923 Ballot 2 LT and a sport version, Ballot 2 LTS followed. From 1927, eight cylinder engines were used.
In 1931 the company was taken over by Hispano-Suiza. Swift decline followed: the last model was practically a Hispano-Suiza and only the chassis was provided by Ballot. Ballot closed down in 1932.
A Ballot vehicle driven by René Thomas finished second in the 1919 Targa Florio and second in the 1920 Indianapolis 500. Ralph DePalma, an American national champion and winner of the 1915 Indianapolis 500, finished second in the 1921 French Grand Prix and French driver Jules Goux finished third. Goux went on to win the inaugural Italian Grand Prix at Brescia, Italy driving a Ballot.