1903 De Dion-Bouton Y-Type ‘Populaire’ Rear-entrance Tonneau  Engine no. 19398
Lot 645
1903 De Dion-Bouton Y-Type ‘Populaire’ Rear-entrance Tonneau
Engine no. 19398
£ 35,000 - 40,000
US$ 45,000 - 52,000

Amended
Lot Details
1903 De Dion-Bouton Y-Type ‘Populaire’ Rear-entrance Tonneau  Engine no. 19398 1903 De Dion-Bouton Y-Type ‘Populaire’ Rear-entrance Tonneau  Engine no. 19398
1903 De Dion-Bouton Y-Type ‘Populaire’ Rear-entrance Tonneau
Engine no. 19398

Footnotes

  • Light, simple, attractive and a joy to drive, the De Dion-Bouton ‘Populaire’ is the quintessential veteran car. Indeed, De Dion-Bouton is by far the most popular Brighton Run marque, for there are more pre-1904 cars of this make in existence than any other. The reason for the marque’s high survival rate is simple: while its cars were affordably priced for the middle-class market, they were built of the very best materials available and with great accuracy. And, like the Mini of a later generation, they were utterly classless. Their reliability was proven by long-distance publicity runs, and many smaller marques bought their excellent single-cylinder engines – 30,000 were sold in 1902 alone - which powered, among others, the first Renault and Delage cars.
    Introduced in two-speed form at the 1902 Paris Salon, the Populaire had the well-proven 6-hp De Dion single mounted at the front of a light but strong tubular chassis incorporating the famous De Dion transmission. With its two constant-mesh gears engaged by separate clutches, the little De Dion freed pioneer motorists of the difficulties of gear-changing and found instant popularity, with production running at some 200 vehicles a month. The De Dion suspension system, with a separate load bearing axle and universally-jointed cardan shafts driving cambered rear wheels, found renewed popularity on sports-racing cars of the 1950s.
    With internal flywheels, a simple “clapet” automatic inlet valve and variable exhaust valve timing to control the engine speed, the De Dion engine was smooth-running and delivered its full power at the then-phenomenal speed of 1500 rpm, thanks to Georges Bouton’s excellent electrical ignition system. A unique (and effective) feature of the De Dion marque for many years was the decelerator pedal, which first altered the exhaust timing to slow the engine, then applied the transmission brake.
    In mid-1904, the 6-hp Model Y Populaire appeared, with a three-speed expanding-clutch transmission using an extra pedal and separate reverse lever. The car offered here is a typical Model Y, fitted with four-seated rear-entrance tonneau bodywork. It has taken part in several Brighton Runs, including the 1996 Centenary Run, in its previous German ownership An older restoration, it comes with a spare (earlier) 6-hp engine but is sold without documentation.

Saleroom notices

  • The vendor declares that this car dates from 1903, however, many features on the car indicate that it is a Model Y, first introduced in Autumn 1904 and production continuing through to 1905. Removal of the body may well reveal the chassis number which will enable the car to be dated more accurately within the period 1904/5.The engine presently fitted is from a series dated after 1904. The spare engine offered with the car is thought to be pre-1902 and probably of smaller capacity.
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