De Dion-Bouton Tricycle Type 2 3/4 from 1898, one cylinder, 239 cc, 1.75 HP, 35 km/h

The De Dion-Bouton tricycle was the most successful motor vehicle in Europe from 1897 until 1901. With about 15,000 copies sold, the de-Dion-Bouton motor tricycle scored the first breakthrough for the distribution of motor vehicles. In particular the fast-running de Dion-Bouton engine set new standards for vehicular motors, and is regarded as the precursor of all motorcycle engines.

Jules-Albert de Dion, the engineer of Georges Bouton and his brother-in-law Charles-Armand Trépardoux, founded a workshop in 1882 near Paris. The first project was the production of steam boilers, then a fairly successful steam-powered tricycle from 1887, which should have already reached a speed of 65 km/h.

Trépardoux, who wished to continue the further development of steam engines, resigned from the company in 1893; De Dion and Bouton opted for the development of gasoline engines after they viewed Daimler’s engines at the Paris Exposition of 1889.

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