Hotchkiss AM 80 Veth Cabriolet

A French car, an English name and a Dutch body. The car’s modest two-door body was produced by the Arnhem coachbuilder, Veth (still in existence today).

Yet the most noteworthy thing about this car is the rubber front bumper, which was likewise made in Holland. It was manufactured by Overman and could absorb a collision at up to 40 km/h. Some insurance companies at the time offered a reduced premium to car owners who installed this type of bumper. It should be noted that bumpers were not commonplace on cars in those days.

In 1867 the American Benjamin Hotchkiss set up an arms factory near Paris in Saint-Denis. However, business was not good and in 1903 he decided to build cars instead. The logo made up of two crossed cannons refers to the factory’s original trade.

This AM 80 with its 3.0-litre, six-cylinder engine was the car that cemented Hotchkiss’ reputation as a manufacturer of refined and powerful engines. The balanced crankshaft had seven bearings and was mounted in vibration dampers. The AM 80 continued in modified form until Hotchkiss ceased passenger car production in 1955.

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