1904 De Dion Bouton 8hp Type V Rear Entrance Tonneau Registration no. Y96 Chassis no. 170 Engine no. 14314
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, 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 4.5hp, 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 single-cylinder 8hp De Dion was purchased at auction in 1994 by the titled vendor, its immediately preceding owner having been the famous Danish collector, Baron John Raben Levetzau. Baron Levetzau had purchased the car in 1964 and placed it on display at a museum in Denmark, during which period it was loaned to a German museum for two years and driven on the London-Brighton Run. While in the current vendor's ownership the car has completed another 14 London-Brighton Veteran Car Runs, all without problems. Works carried out on the De Dion include fitting new kingpins, front wheel bearings, an electric cooling fan, new piston and valves, Coole ignition and new brake linings. In addition, the gearbox has been rebuilt by marque specialist Austin Parkinson and an electric starter fitted for ease of use. The rear entrance tonneau coachwork features deeply buttoned black leather seats with brass cappings, while lighting is provided by scuttle-mounted Ducellier lamps and a J & R Oldfield rear lamp. Other noteworthy features include a scuttle-mounted horn, original supplier's plaque and a 1,000-Mile Trial medal awarded following a successful run. A test drive at time of consignment revealed the De Dion to be a sprightly performer. The car presents very well, possessing a delightful patina that only comes from years of careful stewardship. A comfortable four-seat Brighton ride, ideally suited to many Veteran Car Club rallies, this charming De Dion is offered with VCC dating certificate (No. 11), sundry restoration invoices, old-style logbook, Swansea V5 registration document and MoT to July 2011.
The paperwork for this car will follow post-sale .