FRENCH CARS from 1920 - 1925
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    Default FRENCH CARS from 1920 - 1925

    Last weekend...while my wife was clothes shopping (u know how it is)....I wondered down the shopping strip and came across this book in a second hand shop....Its callled FRENCH CARS from 1920-1925....cost me all of
    $9

    Anyway I ve just had a quick read through it...absolutely sensational piece of reading if you like some of the vintage stuff like I do.....


    If u dont mind I d like to share some of the quotes:

    INTRODUCTION (part of):

    "Thre must have been round about a thousand French industrialists, mechanics, or experimenters, who have tried since the turn of the century, with more or less good fortune, to manufacture cars. Of these, probably three hundred firms were active between 1920 and 1925."

    300 FIRMS......


    page 9 in the OLD-TIMERS section:

    ...."Neither Panhard nor Peugeot, who both started in 1891-2, were inthat category (book is talking about the old-timer section ), for they KNEW how to
    develop and produce modern chassis right from START of the period covered by this book."

    Interesting stuff.....obviously chassis design was an important factor to peugeot right from start......cant see to many asian manufacturers being able to claim such pioneering history...

    LITTLE TOURING TRUCKS page16..another quote:

    ...."In 1920, Corre built a small racing car with some original features. Its four-cylinder engine had 16 valves (yep u r reading right) inclined in the head and operated by pushrods and rockers from two camshafts in the crank-case, the crankshaft running on ballraces. It was rumoured that this advanced power unit was the work of Nemorin Causan, the celebrated designer of high-performance engines for Bignan, Buc, La Perle, and others. But the chassis of this little meteor, which was capable of 140km/h, had no front brakes and only a three speed gearbox, which betrayed a certain conservatism which showed in every detail of the sadly commonplace production models."

    page 19...:

    ...."The DFP (Doriot, Flandrin, Parent) and the Suere were both after the same customers and showed similar conventional technique, innocent of the slightest imagination. DFP, however, had fitted ALUMINIUM pistons since the early 1913, which were developed by their British concessionaire, W. O. Bentley."

    And a humorus one from page 20:

    ..."Nevertheless, in 1923 DFP adopted unit construction and front wheel brakes, developing from their 12 cv a sports model capable of a timed 110km/h. After that, the cruel nickname, Derniere Ferraille Parue, which may be loosely translated as "the last word in scarp-iron", was no longer deserved."


    Loved this little story....its titled: SOME V8s BEFORE THE AMERICANS

    page 22...:

    Advertisement


    "De Dion, Darracq, Bellanger, these were three makes with an important point in common. All three had V8 engines, and two of them had experience in this field extending over a number of years. Better still, Darracq, already holder of the world record for speed in 1904--168km/h with a four-cylinder 11 litre car--beat that in 1905 at 176km/h with a V8 of more than 22 litre capacity

    ...De Dion, on the other hand, had the first genuine production engine of this type, which INCIDENTALLY gave the idea to the AMERICAN engineers."

    ..WELL...this is all new 2 me...I, therefore think its only fair that the next few HSV/holden or FORD/FPV, should be NAMED something like the DE Dion or Darracq or Bellanger....there is a COOL name for a car :THE BELLANGER...


    Ok...this book is seriously cool....and is full of prints and old posters and various technical drawings of the period......


    Here is another quote....(if u find the above boring... me reffering to the latte drinking members...this one should rock your boat...just read on...)

    page 54...:

    ..."Our third brilliant two litre car, the Bignan, had an advanced overhead-camshaft, four-cylinder engine with two sparking plugs per cylinder, with dimensions 75 x 112 mm (1979 cc), This engine was expensive and the car was also available with proprietory units,.......When fitted with the Bignan engine, this was a formidable car, for it was closely derived from the one that ran in the touring category of the 1922 Starsbourg grand Prix; it retired there, but later won its clas at Spa....."

    Birth of the Mi16...who knows...still,....amazing stuff considering era...




    OK...thats enough for the time......I would love to get some scans done and post them up (if anybody is interested)......will try and get around to posting more as I read through the book....


    So,.... sorry about the length...but after some of my SOAPIES...I though it was time for a DOCUMENTARY....






    Cheers


    dino

    PS....Citroen was first in europe to start genuine LINE production...however it was last (of the three: pug ren cit)to adapt 4 wheel brakes.....more to come soon....
    Last edited by dino; 11th June 2004 at 12:30 PM. Reason: fixed a couple of spelling errors...since i m quoting...

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! 604 tragic's Avatar
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    Default More please !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by dino
    absolutely sensational piece of reading if you like some of the vintage stuff like I do.........
    More please I love this stuff too.
    I think its interesting that a lot of the first successful car makers had started as bicycle makers with experience of designing and building 'frames' like Peugeot and Rover &/later on motor bike makers (a more modern example is Honda).

    A facinating bit of trivia I read the other day was that Benz designed his first engines to run on petrol, which, at that time, was a 'waste product' from the production of kerosene(??) Bit different to now!!
    So many projects - so little time.

  3. #3
    WLB
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    Quote Originally Posted by dino
    ...."In 1920, Corre built a small racing car with some original features. Its four-cylinder engine had 16 valves (yep u r reading right) inclined in the head and operated by pushrods and rockers from two camshafts in the crank-case, the crankshaft running on ballraces...."
    Facinating, these old books, aren't they. Here's a bit of Pug stuff for you Dino.

    Rack and pinion steering on some models as early as 1903.

    Racing engines in 1911 with the first overhead cams. 4-cylinder, hemi head, inclined valves, central spark plug, twin overhead cam, 4 valves per cylinder. Engine sizes ranging from 7.6-litres down through 5.6, 4.5. 3.0 and 2.5 between 1911 and the early '20s. The cars were shaft-driven. Chain-drive was still the norm.

    Won French GP in 1912 averaging 110kph. Capable of 200kph. (rear-wheel handbrake, foot transmission brake. Scary stuff).

    Broke flying half-mile at Brooklands in 1913 at 177kph.

    Won at Indianapolis in 1913 averaging 122kph. This engine had dry-sump, full-pressure lubrication.

    1st and 2nd in 1913 French GP.

    2nd and 4th at Indianapolis in 1914. (Delage 1st and 3rd).

    4th and 7th in 1914 French GP with 4.5-litre version, 4-wheel brakes and 5-speed gearbox. (Mercedes took 1st, 2nd and 3rd with fuel injection and shaft-driven 4.5-litre).

    The 5.6-litre 1914 cars took 2nd and 7th at Indianapolis in 1915, and 1st and 3rd in 1916.

    2.5-litre car producing 80HP at 3,000rpm won Targa Florio in 1919.

    The 1920 Indianapolis car was a 3-litre, triple overhead cam, 5 valves per cylinder, in-line 4-cylinder. (3 exhaust valves). I don't think it finished and Peugeot abandoned GP style racing until probably relatively recent times, through ownership of Ligier in the '80s (??)

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! Dijon16's Avatar
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    Glad this year-old thread has resurfaced, gives me a chance to add this.

    Dino's intro says:
    "There must have been round about a thousand French industrialists."...

    Many years ago, at a meeting of the PCC, someone stood up (no names, but it rhymes with Wally Best) and asked if anyone knew how many French car makes there had been. Cause he was about to tell us.

    People said 50, maybe 100, someone really daring ventured 200. Wally set us straight. Over 800. So, the book got it right.

    I tried looking thru several reference books I have - Encyclopaedia of Automoblies, History of the Motor Car etc, and lost count at about C or D in the alphabet.

    That there are still 3 majors, with one of them the second oldest in the world, tells me that it is the peak of French industrialisation. It is, after all, why we're all here reading this.

    Chris

  5. #5
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    It's not for nothing that various rear suspension bits are called 'Panhard Rods' and 'de Dion Rear Axles'... that's not to mention 'Hotchkiss Drives'.

    Just imagine where the French automotive industry might have gone had they not been overrun by the Germans in two world wars...

    Although it is true that their Gallic way of thinking isolates them from a lot of export markets. But that's more than balanced by their development for the Sahara and other African countries.

  6. #6
    WLB
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    Speaking very generally, I think it's probably fair to say that Germany is the birthplace of the internal combustion engine and that France is the home of the car as we know it, despite what the average American might believe. Although it was the first Mercedes that turned the horseless carriage into the car. Different marques from around the globe have contributed different developments at various times, but I suspect that the bulk of these have been in France.

    Renault gave us the gearbox as we know it (from memory).

    Interestingly, the pneumatic tyre (which has probably contributed more than anything else to progress) was developed about the same time in England and France. John Dunlop fitted his to a bicycle; Andre Michelin fitted his to a Peugeot. Engineers were designing engines long ago that we would find perfectly acceptible performance-wise in an every-day car today, but they were hamstrung by tyres even after brakes improved. If someone had handed a set of modern (or even 40-year-old) steel radials and the most basic set of hydraulic shockers to the likes of E. Bugatti or W.O. Bentley (2 extremes in philosphy) it's hard to imagine what they would have achieved. Afterall, suspension is just springs (whether they be steel or gas) so the art of chassis design would have come along much faster as a consequence.

    PS. Those racing pre-WW1 Pug engines were also short stroke (over square) designs too, which is remakable when you think how long it was before the long-stroke engine completely disappeared from production cars.
    Last edited by WLB; 14th August 2005 at 05:26 PM.

  7. #7
    farmerdave
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    In regards to components, here are some more we can thank the Frogs for..
    Pressed steel channel chassis- Arbel
    One piece chassis- Darracq
    Sliding pinion gearbox- Renault
    Live rear axle- Renault
    Fully forged front axle -Lemoine

    Farmerdave

  8. #8
    WLB
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    Default L76

    Quote Originally Posted by WLB
    Racing engines in 1911 with the first overhead cams. 4-cylinder, hemi head, inclined valves, central spark plug, twin overhead cam, 4 valves per cylinder. Engine sizes ranging from 7.6-litres down through 5.6, 4.5. 3.0 and 2.5 between 1911 and the early '20s.
    I found a photo of L76, the first car with this new breed of engine. 7.6 litres and 150hp. This is George Bolliot at the wheel at the 1913 French GP. Jules Goux came second in another L76.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FRENCH CARS from 1920 - 1925-l76.jpg  

  9. #9
    WLB
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    Default Brooklands

    Quote Originally Posted by WLB
    Broke flying half-mile at Brooklands in 1913 at 177kph.
    This is the previous Peugeot Brooklands car with Boissy at the wheel during speed trials in 1911. A bit of a difference. This is unlikely to be an over-square engine!
    The L76 ended the era of the super-long stroke engines designed to get around the racing restrictions on bore size. The FIATs in the 1912 race, beaten by L76 were 14-litre 4-cylinder cars. The biggest was a 26-litre 4-cylinder Dufaux in 1905.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FRENCH CARS from 1920 - 1925-brooklands.jpg  

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