1900 De Dion Bouton Vis-a-vis,
Lot 308
1900 De Dion Bouton 4½/6hp Vis-à-Vis Engine no. 3576
Sold for £60,900 (US$ 95,505) inc. premium

Lot Details
1900 De Dion Bouton Vis-a-vis, 1900 De Dion Bouton Vis-a-vis, 1900 De Dion Bouton Vis-a-vis, 1900 De Dion Bouton Vis-a-vis,
1900 De Dion Bouton 4½/6hp Vis-à-Vis
Coachwork by H J Mulliner

Registration no. LD 1381
Engine no. 3576
Car no. 461

Footnotes

  • The names of De Dion and Bouton are inextricably linked with the pioneer years of the motor car, initially in company with Trépardoux 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 Trépardoux 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 1.75hp and made the contemporary Benz engines seem positively antiquated.
    Early De Dions were rear engined and of the vis-à-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. By this time, De Dion's fast revving, single-cylinder engines were offered in 4½hp, 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.
    This very original looking De Dion Vis-à-Vis was discovered in Shrewsbury, Shropshire by the current vendor's brother-in-law in the mid-1960s and for the next few years was jointly owned by the two men, sole ownership passing to the vendor in 1969. The car retains its original 4½hp engine, which has been converted to 6hp configuration, and is finished in green/red with black upholstery. Other noteworthy features include Lucas sidelights and IMI rear lights. 'LD 1381' last took part in the LBVCR in 2003 and since then has spent most of the time in storage; it is anticipated that it will be running by time of sale. The car is offered with VCC dating certificate (number '769') and Swansea V5 document. (It should be noted that the latter records the chassis number as '1253').

Saleroom notices

  • We are pleased to report that the car is running and operational. Please note all lights and trailer are included in the sale and the dating certificate we refer to is a copy.
Auction information

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