1911 De Dion Bouton 6hp Tourer  Engine no. 27274

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Lot 147
1911 De Dion Bouton 6hp Tourer
Engine no. 27274

Sold for € 34,500 (US$ 38,419) inc. premium
1911 De Dion Bouton 6hp Tourer
Engine no. 27274
Construite sur un châssis série 24 du 15 juillet 1911, cette délicieuse monocylindre De Dion-Bouton fut livrée en 1912 avec la carrosserie biplace d’usine qu’elle a conservée jusqu’à nos jours. Vendue neuve en France, elle est depuis cinquante ans la propriété d’une famille belge sans avoir jamais été proposée à la vente depuis 1958. Une copie de la carte grise française est disponible aux noms de Pierre Causse et Félix Gamerre de Nîmes (Gard) en date du 8 décembre 1954. La voiture avait été auparavant immatriculée « 400 AF 30 » le 11 mars 1952. En 1957, elle fut achetée par Léon Henrard, puis revendue en 1958 à Paul De Man, tous deux citoyens belges. Paul De Man céda la voiture à son frère Guy en 1970 et la voiture fut immatriculée à son nom le 15 décembre sous plaques belges « 49 ZL 1 ». L’actuel propriétaire, Yves De Man, fils de Guy, en hérita au décès de son père en 1984.

La fidèle De Dion a participé avec succès à de nombreuses manifestations historiques dont un raid Bruxelles-Paris-Madrid en 1961 qu’elle effectua brillamment, fournissant le sujet d’un dessin du célèbre illustrateur automobile « Jacano ». En 2004, la voiture a accompli le rallye commémoratif « Marquis de Dion » à Dion-le-Val et prit part à de nombreuses autres sorties du VCC belge. Accompagnée d’un certificat du Veteran Car Club de Belgique (n° 21 en date du 17 janvier 1958), cette voiture passionnément entretenue depuis 1958 est totalement d’origine à l’exception du système d’éclairage devenu électrique pour une plus grande facilité d’utilisation. Une seule famille propriétaire depuis 50 ans, une carrosserie, un moteur et un châssis d’origine assortis d’un historique limpide en font une pièce d’une rare qualité.


‘The commanding position of De Dion Bouton in the motoring industry could not be ignored… marquis De Dion, that vast, rumbustious aristocrat, with his perfect foil, the half-pint plebeian Georges Bouton as the technical genius, had a finger in every pie.’ – Anthony Bird.

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. By that time he had already introduced what would become famous as the ‘De Dion’ axle design in which power is transmitted to the road wheels via universally jointed shafts from a final-drive unit attached rigidly to the chassis, while a tubular ‘dead’ axle accommodates both vehicle weight and wheel location.

Engineer Bouton’s power units, the first of which appeared in 1895, 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. Ultimately, over 140 would use De Dion proprietary engines.

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.

Built on the Series 24 chassis on 15th July 1911, this charming single-cylinder De Dion was delivered in 1912 with the two-seater factory coachwork it retains to this day. The car, which was sold new in France, has been in the same Belgian family ownership for the past 50 years and was last offered on the open market in 1958. A copy of the French Carte Grise is available in the names of Pierre Causse and Félix Gamerre, of Nimes in the Gard, dated 8th December 1954. (The car was previously French registered ‘400 AF 30’ on 11th March 1952). In 1957 it was purchased by Leon Henrard and then in 1958 was sold to Paul De Man, both these owners being resident in Belgium. Paul De Man sold the De Dion to his brother Guy in 1970 and the car was registered in his name on 15th December that year on Belgian plates, ‘49 ZL 1’. The current owner, Guy’s son Yves De Man, inherited it upon his father’s death in 1984.

The De Man’s faithful De Dion has successfully participated in many historic motoring events over the years, including the Brussels-Madrid marathon run of 1961, which it completed and is the subject of a drawing by the well known motoring artist, ‘Jacano’. In 2004 the car completed the ‘Marquis De Dion’ commemoration rally to Dion-le-Val, and has taken part in many other VCC events over the years. Offered with Veteran Car Club of Belgium certificate (No. 21, dated 17th January 1958) this car has enjoyed ongoing ‘tender loving care’ since 1958 and is completely original apart from the lighting system, which has been converted to electricity for greater ease of use. Long term ownership, original bodywork, engine and chassis with a continuous history make this a rare find.
1911 De Dion Bouton 6hp Tourer  Engine no. 27274
1911 De Dion Bouton 6hp Tourer  Engine no. 27274
1911 De Dion Bouton 6hp Tourer  Engine no. 27274
1911 De Dion Bouton 6hp Tourer  Engine no. 27274
1911 De Dion Bouton 6hp Tourer  Engine no. 27274
1911 De Dion Bouton 6hp Tourer  Engine no. 27274
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