French Peugeot 201D from 1935, four cylinders, 1307 cc, 20 HP
The Peugeot 201 is a car produced by Peugeot between 1929 and 1937.
The car was manufactured at the company’s Sochaux plant near the Swiss frontier, and is today celebrated in the adjacent Peugeot museum. Although Peugeot had produced a petrol/gasoline-powered motor vehicle as early as 1886, the Peugeot 201 may reasonably be seen as the company’s first mass-produced model.
The Peugeot 201 was presented at the 1929 Paris Motor Show with the backdrop of the Wall Street Crash. While many European manufacturers did not survive the ensuing depression, the 201’s image as an inexpensive car helped Peugeot to survive the economic crisis with its finances intact and its status as a major auto producer confirmed.
During the 1930s Peugeot offered several variants of the 201, with increasing engine capacity.
Initially, it was powered by a 1122 cc engine developing 23 horsepower (17 kW) at 3500 rpm (top speed: 80 km/h / 50 mph). This was followed by an engine of 1307 cc, and finally a 1465 cc unit of 35 hp (26 kW).
The Peugeot 201C, launched in 1931, is claimed to be the first mass-produced car equipped with independent front suspension, a concept rapidly adopted by the competition. The simpler beam front axle version remained available, but the independent suspension system reportedly improved road holding and reduced steering column vibration.