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De Dion-Bouton

In 1900, de Dion-Bouton was the largest automobile manufacturer in the world.
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De Dion-Bouton was a successful French automobile manufacturer at the beginning of the 20th century.


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De Dion-Bouton logo.

The company was founded by Albert de Dion and Georges Bouton, who began building steam-powered automobiles in 1882. These vehicles used an innovative de Dion tube semi-independent suspension rear axle, which was later used by other manufacturers.

The company began producing a small single-cylinder gasoline-powered automobile in 1895, the petite voiture. The company soon began producing engines and licenses for other automobile companies. de Dion engines would go on to be used by more than 150 other companies.

In 1900, de Dion-Bouton was the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. The company produced 400 cars and 3200 engines that year. The company became the first with a mass-produced V8 engine, a 35 hp unit in 1910.

Gigi, in a story by Colette, is forced to turn down a ride in a de Dion-Bouton for the sake of propriety.


An 1884 De Dion, Bouton et Trepardoux steamer (the world's oldest operable car) was sold for $3.5 million in Monterey, (August 15-20, 2007).


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