De Dion Bouton – The Veteran Years

Author: Michael Edwards
Publisher: Surrenden Press

This triple-book set has been supported by the Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust.

Michael Edwards is well-known and acknowledged as an expert for his books on De Dion Bouton, which have delineated the Types, the Tricycles and the available sources of material. The three books now published as De Dion Bouton - The Veteran Years  1899-1904 cover the Company History in Volume 1, the single cylinder Models in Volume 2 and Volume 3 deals with the twin cylinder models and the subsequent years of the company. Fuller details appear below.

When Michael Edwards acquired a 1902 Type O De Dion Bouton rear entrance tonneau in 1998 (bought for £12 by a relation in 1931), it rapidly became apparent that there was very limited information available on the model, and much of what was in the public domain had been replicated numerous times without its validity being questioned. How many De Dion Bouton examples like Michael's existed? How many cars of the same marque were resident in the UK? Which Types were most numerous, and what were their individual characteristics? Were there specific batches of serial numbers for each Type of car that could help identify and date a particular vehicle?

Logic dictated that it might be worthwhile to build a register of De Dion Bouton motor cars. Michael started on this 20 years ago, and it now includes more than 600 entries from around the world. Every opportunity was taken to photograph and inspect motor cars, gather articles from early journals, mainly from the UK and France and build up a network of owners around the world. The question for Michael was what to do with a mass of information that was invariably incomplete and contradictory? The answer he chose was to publish it warts and all, hence the previous books. Importantly that attracted a torrent of comment, information, fresh data and perspectives from owners of cars that helped Michael to understand that there was further to travel on this journey of really understanding the marque. The results of that additional information and further research are incorporated into these new books.

The books are laid out in the following manner:

Part One (304 pages): Company History including details of the individuals who provided the impetus for the early development of the De Dion Bouton company and its subsequent success; Tours, Trials and Racing in France and Great Britain including the Paris-Madrid race and 1904 Tour of Southern Britain; Voiturette Technical Specification, Voiturette Development, Forward Control Vehicles, Licensing & Distribution, and Usage of De Dion Bouton Engines by other manufacturers.

Part Two (264 pages): Type Identification of the various front-engined single cylinder models; Technical Specifications with detailed chassis drawings and diagrams of engines and gearboxes, steering, cooling and brakes; Type Summaries of each model with contemporary and historic images; Usage of De Dion Bouton engines with surveys of Corre, Lacoste & Battmann, Malicet & Blin and Prunel; Electric vehicle designs that never went into production.

Part Three (244 pages) includes comprehensive illustrated coverage of the Twin Cylinder Engine, and Transmission, detailed illustrations of extant examples of The Type S and the Type W and their technical characteristics; original drawings of The Racing Spider used in competition by Charles Jarrott and Jack Stocks; the production of Commercial Vehicles; an essay on Vehicle Production for all vehicle Types in 1899-190, and an Epilogue covering The Later Years of the De Dion Bouton company, through the war years to its eventual cessation of production in the early 1930s.

Within the 800 carefully designed pages there are more than 1,000 photographs and drawings, a comprehensive set of footnotes and a bibliography that together provide a detailed narrative of the De Dion Bouton business at the turn of the last century. An epilogue charts the pathway of the company through the war years to its eventual cessation of production in the early 1930s.

Priced at £175, De Dion Bouton: The Veteran Years, 1899-1904 is available to order from Surrenden Press at De Dion Bouton – The Veteran Years, 1899-1904 – Surrenden Press

Published 2024


Price: £175.00

ISBN: #978-1916009059

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