1904 De Dion Bouton Type V 8hp Two-seater  Chassis no. 865 Engine no. 16585

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Lot 310
1904 De Dion Bouton Type V 8hp Two-seater
Registration no. U 166 Chassis no. 865 Engine no. 16585
Sold for £ 73,000 (US$ 94,975) inc. premium

Lot Details
1904 De Dion Bouton Type V 8hp Two-seater  Chassis no. 865 Engine no. 16585
1904 De Dion Bouton Type V 8hp Two-seater
Registration no. U 166
Chassis no. 865
Engine no. 16585


  • Count Albert De Dion commissioned Messrs Bouton and Trépardoux, brothers-in-law and jobbing engineers, to build light steam carriages for him as early as 1882. In 1895 attention was switched to the fashionable new internal combustion engine and De Dion Bouton et Cie were marketing a diminutive petrol engined tricycle. These early tricycles were powered by Bouton’s new, high speed, single cylinder, vertical engine which revved at almost twice the speed of the contemporary Daimlers. By 1899 the company was marketing a 3 1/2hp Voiturette, an all new generation of four wheel motor car with rear mounted engine driving through a system of gears to the rear wheels. With the new car came the renowned De Dion rear axle – then years ahead of its time. A larger 4 1/2hp engine was offered in the vis-à-vis models from 1900 and with this power unit the car had a comfortable running speed of 25mph although braking ability was a limiting factor.

    For the 1902 season a new genre of front-engined cars was introduced in 6hp and 8hp engine sizes, once again single-cylinder cars with atmospheric inlet valve and mechanical exhaust valve. De Dion’s sliding cone gearbox was virtually foolproof for the first time car driver, the fast revving engines were supremely reliable for the time and De Dion Bouton service and back-up was second-to-none. The number of surviving cars is testimony to their popularity and build quality.

    It is known that this car was once part of the collection of G. James Allday, a stalwart of the Veteran Car Club and President from 1946 – 1954. It passed later to J. V. Stanbury of Cobham, then inappropriately registered WPJ 8, and later to one A Appleton. This car has been in the present ownership for over 25 years, sharing a stable at various times with a Renault AX, a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Balloon Car and a Stanley Steamer – surely the definitive veteran car collection. Its present owner drove the car to Brighton on four or five occasions more than twenty years ago, however a combination of business commitments and failing health have resulted in the car not seeing active use for the last twenty years or so. The car was dated by the V.C.C. in Dennis Field’s days and in more recent times was reviewed by the Dating Committee and the 1904 date confirmed in 1995, the car being identified as a Type V and noted modifications being a Zenith carburettor and a reconstructed body.

    The car is today very smartly presented in maroon livery with black/gold coachlining and furnished with black buttoned leather upholstery. It is equipped with a three-speed gearbox with reverse and a plate on the dashboard indicates supply by The Lancaster Motor Garage, Lancaster Gate, London W, the plate announcing ‘all spare parts kept in stock’. It comes with Lucas brass oil side lamps and a Lucas oil rear lamp.

    Recent work has included partial recommissioning with essential exhaust parts replaced and the wheels have been reconstructed, the choice of colour being left to the new owner. U 166 is presently fitted with a later Amal carburettor and a modification to the inlet manifold provides a heating element to enhance performance. The car has recently passed its MoT test but we feel that a new owner will wish to fine tune the car to obtain best performance following a period since 1986 when the car has not been used on the road. This charming veteran is offered with a V.C.C. Dating Plate and, although at the time of cataloguing its history file had not been located, it is expected that this will be available for inspection at the time of viewing. The car is Swansea registered and comes with MoT certificate valid to August 2008.

    Early De Dion Bouton motor cars are now admirably catered for by the U.K. De Dion Bouton Club which complements the activities of the V.C.C., offering exclusive De Dion events for the enthusiast, along with a most useful newsletter and networking facility.

    U 166 will be a welcome return entry on the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run and a practical car for other events, its V-Type chassis with transverse rear spring perhaps lending the car nicely to equipping with period style four seat coachwork.
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