French Clement-Bayard Torpedo Type 4M from 1913

French Clement-Bayard Torpedo Type 4M from 1913, four cylinders, 1359 cc, 8 HP, 65 km/h

Clément-Bayard, Bayard-Clément, was a French manufacturer of automobiles, aeroplanes and airships founded in 1903 by entrepreneur Gustave Adolphe Clément. Clément obtained consent from the Conseil d’Etat to change his name to that of his business in 1909. The extra name celebrated the Chevalier Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayard who saved the town of Mézières in 1521. A statue of the Chevalier stood in front of Clément’s Mézières factory, and the image was incorporated into the company logo.

From 1903 Clément-Bayard automobiles were built in a modern factory at Mézières, known as La Macérienne, which Clément had designed in 1894 mainly for building bicycles.

The company entered the field of aviation in 1908, announcing the construction of Louis Capazza’s ‘planeur’, a lenticular airship, in L’Aérophile in May 1908: however it was never built. Adolphe Clément also built Alberto Santos-Dumont’s Demoiselle No 19 monoplane that he had designed to compete for the Coupe d’Aviation Ernest Archdeacon prize from the Aéro-Club de France. It was the world’s first series production aircraft and by 1909 Clement-Bayard had the license to manufacture Wright engines alongside their own design.

In 1908 ‘Astra Clément-Bayard’ began manufacturing airships at a new factory in La Motte-Breuil.

In 1914 the factory La Macérienne at Mézières was seized by the advancing German army and automobile production in Levallois-Perret, Paris, was suspended as the factory was turned over to war production, military equipment and military vehicles, aero engines, airships and planes.

In 1922 the company was broken up and the factory in Paris was taken over by Citroën.

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