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De Dion-Bouton & Trepardoux Steam Quadricycle

Deze De Dion-Bouton & Trepardoux is een van de oudste overgebleven automobielen ter wereld.

With its steam boiler located at the front and connecting rods to the rear wheels, it resembles a tank locomotive but is nevertheless one of the first usable, and therefore successful, applications of a steam engine in a small motorcar. The twin-cylinder compound engine installed under the floor could be operated by one man, eliminating the need for an additional stoker. The water tank was located underneath the seats and the coal bunker surrounded the boiler. The vehicle could get up steam within 50 minutes and could reach a top speed of approximately 60 km/h.

The company De Dion, Bouton et Trépardoux was one of the first car manufac-turers. It was established in 1880 outside Paris by the brothers-in-law Georges Bouton and Charles Trépardoux, initially to make toy steam engines. Their sophisticated craftsmanship caught the attention of the count Albert de Dion, who proceeded to finance the production of steam-driven vehicles.

In 1889, when De Dion attended the Paris Exhibition, he saw a petrol engine for the first time. He immediately recognised its potential and went on to develop one himself. Trépardoux however, wanted to carry on with steam and left in 1893.

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