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Manufacturers / France / Peugeot

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Peugeot vehicles


Peugeot Type 30   (1900)

The Peugeot family, who still control the independent French motor manufacturer, began life as ironmongers, manufacturing coffee grinders, umbrella frames and bicycles - Peugeot racing bikes are still one of the best available in the world - before entering car production in 1876. In 1889 Peugeot produced a steam driven, three wheeler in conjunction with LČon Serpollet. It had a tubular frame and a flash boiler, but steam was soon dropped in favour of Daimler V-twin engines which were installed in the frames along with handlebar steering. In 1891, a Peugeot was driven from Beaulieu-Valentigney to Paris, then on to Brest, the first such journey by a petrol-driven car. Such was the acclaim for this remarkable feat, Peugeot found there was substantial demand for its cars, rising from five sold in 1891, to no less than 72 in 1895 and a milestone 300 cars in 1899.

Britain first saw a Peugeot in 1895, when Sir David Salomons imported a 4 h.p. model. Another well-known name in motoring circles, the Hon. C.S. Rolls of Rolls-Royce fame, was selling another famous French marque, Panhard, but also took delivery of a Peugeot around this time. Again in 1895, one Andr* Michelin showed off his 2.7 litre Peugeot, fitted with the revolutionary invention: pneumatic tyres.

A new company entitled SA des Automobiles Peugeot was formed in 1897 to manufacture motor cars at Audincourt, taking over from the quaintly named ėLes Fils de Peugeot FrĖres*, or The Sons of Brothers Peugeot. The cars became larger with bigger engines. In 1898 the company introduced a 3.3 litre engine and, in 1900, a monster 30 bhp, 5.8 litre engine was produced. There was, though, also a 3 hp machine which weighed only 350 kg.

Peugeot Type 31  concept (1900)

Electric ignition was introduced around this time, as was a steering wheel in place of the tiller. In 1902, a factory was opened in Lille and the Peugeot range was expanded with a number of successful innovations, including honeycomb radiators and pressed steel frames. Siddeley in England began making Peugeots under licence.

In 1903, Robert Peugeot began making motorcycles in the old Beaulieu-Valentigney factory, adding cars to the line-up in 1906 under the name Lion-Peugeot.


Peugeot Type 126  concept (1910)

By 1912, Peugeot had entered racing once again - the French concern won the first ever motor race, albeit by default - and had new production models including a 10 hp machine designed by the legendary Ettore Bugatti.

Many of Ettore Bugattiķs creations - including a number of Peugeots - can be seen at the impressive French National Automobile Museum, located in the south-east town of Mulhouse, close to both the German and Swiss borders. Worth a visit if you are in that part of the world.


Peugeot Type 153 B,Type 153 BR,Type 153 BRA concept (1920)

After the First World War, Peugeot developed a series of 3-cylinder engines and by 1923 had experimented with 2-stroke diesels. By 1922, a six cylinder, 6-litre, twin carburettor car had been introduced, and a 1.4 litre, 10 hp machine was also being developed.

The infamous 668cc Quadrilette was launched around this time, acquiring a 719 cc engine in 1926 and front brakes - previously, only rear-wheel brakes were fitted - in 1929. In 1927, a 950 cc engine was offered as an option. Also in 1927, Peugeot expanded with factories in other regions of France, when it acquired De Dion Bouton and Bellanger FrĖres, the latter located at picturesque Neuilly-sur Seine.

More new models were introduced in 1928, including the two litre, six cylinder Type 183. A limited production 201X sports car was launched using a supercharged Bugatti engine.


Peugeot VLV electrique  concept (1940)

In 1935, Peugeot produced its last six cylinder engine, a statistic which was to stand until recent times when the V6 604 was introduced. During the Second World War, Peugeot made electric cars, known as the VLV. Capable of almost 50 km/h, the VLV was an original design with a two-seat cabriolet body.

After the war, Peugeot was one of the first European manufacturers to re-establish its production lines and, in 1946, the company sold more than 14,000 of its 202 model, introducing the 203 a year later.


Peugeot 404  concept (1960)

By 1955, the familiar 403 was launched, complete with synchromesh gearbox and a 1.5 litre engine. By 1962, over 1 million 403s had been built and in 1960 the Pininfarina-designed 404 made an appearance.

This model was tremendously successful, both in terms of sales and on the rally circuit, notably on the Safari Rally in East Africa.

The 403 was dropped at the end of 1966, while the 504 was launched in 1969. A rugged, no-nonsense saloon, the 504 featured an agricultural four cylinder engine, rear wheel drive and torque tube transmission - the propshaft ran inside a casing; to change the clutch, it was necessary to remove the engine, not the gearbox.

Peugeot 404 cabriolet concept (1960)

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