De Dion-Bouton Tonneau V from 1904, one cylinder, 942 cc, 8 HP, 40 km/h
De Dion-Bouton was a French automobile manufacturer and railcar manufacturer operating from 1883 to 1953. The company was founded by the Marquis Jules-Albert de Dion, Georges Bouton, and Bouton’s brother-in-law Charles Trépardoux.
The company was formed in 1883 after de Dion saw a toy locomotive in a store window in 1881 and asked the toymakers to build another. Engineers Bouton and Trépardoux had been eking out a living with scientific toys at a shop in the Passage de Léon, near “rue de la Chapelle” in Paris. Trépardoux had long dreamed of building a steam car, but neither could afford it.
De Dion, already inspired by steam (in the form of rail locomotives) and with ample money, agreed, and De Dion, Bouton et Trépardoux was formed in Paris in 1883. This became the De Dion-Bouton automobile company, the world’s largest automobile manufacturer for a time, becoming well known for their quality, reliability, and durability.