History of the French automotive industry (Part-2)

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Having started with designing of steam-engines, “De Dion-Bouton” in 1885 has designed modest by sight the engine power of 0,5 h.p., than has brought the essential contribution to car creation: it was the first high-speed automobile engine working in a mode of 1500 ob./minutes, but capable to work and for 3000 ob./minutes, thus not collapsing on a part.

For comparison: engine “Daimler” could brag only 700-900 ob./minutes This facilitated power unit at once has put the gasoline engine ahead of gas and steam primogenitors, having bypassed them under the technical and high-speed characteristics: reasonableness of a mechanical part and, the main thing, the ignition breaker (for prevention of any growth of number of revolutions). Such engine has been installed on Dion’s three-wheeled car De of 1895, and its power constantly increased: from 0,75 h.p. to more impressive of 2,75 h.p.

New vehicles, inexpensive, easy in service and simple in circulation, used steady demand. Soon some firms began to alter them in four-wheel cars, constructing a place for the passenger over a new front axle. “De Dion-Bouton” at once has responded to inquiries of the market and in 1899 has exhausted the four-wheel car (“voiturette”).

The new improved version by power of 3,5 h.p. represented known model “De Dion”, with an original design of the rear bridge and successfully grouped, that has allowed to reduce its weight. It was not opening – such decision was already used on steam cars, – yes for it and did not apply Dion, the Bud; but rather successful scheme of the rear bridge – in it engineers of variety of known firms, such as “Lancia” and “Rover” has been groped, many years were convinced later.

Carefully developed by De Dion and the Bud small one-cylinder cars have won popularity and have held on in the market till 1912, despite occurrence of two-cylinder and four-cylinder models. Reliability, comfort, simplicity in control and sufficient power were the reason for that. Besides it the engine “De Dion-Bouton” with 1898 for 1908 has given a life to one hundred different versions, and they, in turn, – to many rather prestigious cars.

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