De Dion-Bouton Tricycle

The exhaust of this three-wheeler has a whistle; the driver could close off the exhaust by means of a little lever and route the exhaust gas via the whistle in order to warn other road users.

And it was particularly useful because this tricycle was pretty fast. The petrol engine designed by Georges Bouton in 1895 – a high-speed engine for which he had to develop a special electric ignition – and the vehicle’s lightweight construction enabled it to perform like a sports model.

De Dion-Bouton, based in Puteaux near Paris, was very successful and by 1901 it had become the largest car manufacturer in the world with an annual production of 1800 vehicles. This Tricycle was a bestseller too, partly because the French army placed a sizeable order.

What else is there to see? Exhibitions