Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
A chronological day-by-day history of Peugeot.
The Peugeot Type 3 quadricycle was introduced, the company's first product marketed to the public. The engine was a German design by Daimler but was licensed for production in France and then sold to Peugeot. It was a 16° V-twin and produced 2 bhp, sufficient for a top speed of approximately 18 kilometres per hour (11 mph). Armand Peugeot decided to show the quality of the Type 3 by running it alongside the cyclists in the inaugural Paris–Brest–Paris cycle race, thus gaining official confirmation of progress from the race marshals and time-keepers. His Chief Engineer Louis Rigoulot and rising workshop foreman Auguste Doriot demonstrated the robustness of the design, as the Quadricycle operated for 1471 kilometers (914.03 miles) without major malfunctions, the longest to that time by a gasoline-powered vehicle and about three times further than the previous record set by Leon Serpollet from Paris to Lyon.. A lightened Type 3 was entered into the Paris–Bordeaux–Paris race, finishing second and maintaining an average speed of 21.7 kilometres per hour (13.5 mph).
Peugeot Type 3 quadricycle - 1891Show Article
A Peugeot driven by Frenchman Albert Lemaître won the Paris-Rouen race and the first prize of 500 francs. It was sponsored by Le Petit Journal, who declared that ‘the competition is open to all types of vehicle, providing they are not dangerous, are easily controllable by the driver and do not cost too much to run’. Entries included those that declared themselves to be powered by gravity, weight of the passengers, hydraulic propulsion, compressed air, levers, a combination of liquids, a series of pendulums, pedals, electricity and compressed gas. The first to cross the finishing line was Comte de Dion’s ‘steamer’, but the jury disqualified him in view of the competition’s requirements of economy and manoeuvrability. Given that it weighed 2 tons, consumed 16 cwts of water and fuel, and needed two people – driver and fireman – to keep it going, the decision seems to have been a sensible one.
Georges Lemaître in Peugeot 3hp at 1894 Paris-Rouen race.Show Article
The first ‘real motor race’, held over three days, from Paris to Bordeaux and back, began. The first to finish was Emile Levassor of France in a Panchard-Levassor two-seater, with a 1.2-litre Daimler engine developing 3.5 bhp. His time was 48 hours 47 minutes, at an average speed of 15.01 mph. The Michelin brothers entered the race with the first four-wheeled petrol car to run on pneumatic tyres, a Peugeot L’éclair. They used up their stock of 22 spare inner tubes and spent so much time mending punctures and bursts that they gave up after 90 hours. The race winner Levassor said that air-filled tyres would obviously never be of the slightest use for motor cars!
Peugeot L’éclair: A Peugeot chassis, a Daimler Engine, the only car in the 1895 Paris-Bordeaux rally fitted with pneumatic tyres- Michelin tyresShow Article
Armand Peugeot set up his own company, Société Anonyme des Automobiles Peugeot. He built a factory at Audincourt, dedicated to the manufacture of cars with an internal combustion engine.By 1899 sales cars for Peugeot got up to 300, which is pretty decent considering that during that year only 1200 cars were sold in France. In 1903 Peugeot added motorcycles to his factory production. After a brief period out of racing, a Peugeot car managed to win the Indianapolis 500 with Jules Goux at the wheel in 1913. The success of the car was due to the introduction of the DOHC 4 valves per cylinder engine. As war dawned in Europe, Peugeot turned to making arms and military vehicles of course. The good thing about surviving the war was that cars were now becoming more of a necessity and less of a luxury which meant bigger sales for Peugeot. In 1929 the first 201 model was introduced, a way of numbering cars that would be trademarked by the French automaker. Having survived the depression, the company the tried in 1933 to woo buyers with a more aerodynamic look. The model that came out that year had a retractable hard top, an innovation that would be also picked up by Mercedes. During the Second World War, Peugeot fate took a turn for the worse as its factories were forced to build cars and weapons for the German war effort. By the end of the war, the plants were heavily bombed and in need of reparations. It would take the company until 1948 to resume car production with the 203 model. This was only the beginning as a new series of Italian-designed models by Pininfarina completed the line-up. The success of these cars determined Peugeot to start selling in the US too in 1958. By this time, Peugeot starting collaborating with other manufacturers such as Renault (1966) and Volvo (1972). In a bid to acquire a bigger share of the market, Peugeot bought 30% of Citroen in 1974, taking over completely in just two years which meant a change in the company's name, now the PSA (Peugeot Societe Anonyme). This partnership meant that the two brands could make use of each other's technical achievements but keep their independence design-wise. Further expansion of the PSA group saw the overtaking of the European division of Chrysler in 1978, an investment which proved faulty as most Chrysler facilities and machinery was old and worn out. These models were later sold under the Talbot brand. When sales began to go under, Peugeot decided to pull the plug on all models except the Arizona which became the 309 in 1986. During the 90s Peugeot got some of its old fame back after a series of miscalculations regarding the general direction of the company. The current model line-up is aiming towards a more luxurious market, with cost cuts no longer being made to sacrifice the overall look and feel of the car. Some wins in the racing world, including rallies and even Formula 1, have helped Peugeot with sales. Now Peugeot has developed several new model ranges, outside the classic 200, 300, 400 and 600 series. The 100 and 900 are the exact opposite, with the 100 eyeing the super compact range while 900 is not for the budget shoppers. The French automaker has even a hybrid vehicle in the make, a version of the 307.
The first-ever speed hillclimb was held over a 10.3 mile course from Nice to La Turbie, just outside Monte Carlo, forming the last stage of the Marseille-Nice race. It was won by Pary driving Andre Michelin’s 15 hp De Dion Bouton steam, which averaged just under 20 mph. A 18 hp De Dion steamer driven by Compte de Chasseloup-Laubat finished second followed by the 6 hp petrol-driven Peugeot of Lemaitere, which took more than 20 minutes longer to cover the course than the winning car.Show Article
Olds Motor Vehicle Co, which would later become Oldsmobile, was founded. The reliable, light, and fairly powerful curved-dash Oldsmobile was the first American car to be produced using the progressive assembly-line system, and the first to become a commercial success. In its 107-year history, Oldsmobile produced over 35 million vehicles, including at least 14 million built at its Lansing, Michigan factory. When it was phased out in 2004, Oldsmobile was the oldest surviving American automobile marque, and one of the oldest in the world, after Daimler, Peugeot and Tatra.Though it was discontinued in 2004, it still remains an active trademark of the General Motors Company. The closing of the Oldsmobile division presaged a larger consolidation of GM brands and discontinuation of models during the company's 2009 bankruptcy reorganization.
The 120.7 km Nice-Castellane-Nice road race was won by Albert Lemaître driving a Peugeot 20 hp, at an average speed of 26.02 mph 41.87 km/h (26.02 mph). He was driving the latest version of rear engined, 2 cylinder, (140 mm bore x 190 mm stroke) Peugeot, in which he also achieved a standing start mile in 1 minute 35 seconds.Show Article
The first of the legendary Nice Speed Trials were held on the Promenade des Anglais, when cars were timed over 1 mile from a standing start. Lemaitre’s 20-hp Peugeot was the fastest with a time of 95.6 seconds (average speed 37.5 mph) - the first petrol car to win a sprint event. On the following day, Lemaitre also won the La Turbie Hillclimb at 25.4 mph.Show Article
The 90 km Limone-Cuneo-Turin road race was won by De Gras driving a Peugeot 10 hp at an average speed of 50.86 mph.Show Article
The Coppa Florio (or Florio Cup) was an automobile race first held in Italy on this day as the Coppa Brescia. It was renamed in 1905 when Vincenzo Florio offered the initial 50,000 Lira prize money and a cup designed by Polak of Paris. The cup was to be awarded to the car maker who gained the most wins in the first seven races, beginning with the race held in 1905. In the event, the first seven races were all won by different manufacturers, but Peugeot won the eighth race in 1925 and thus secured the cup with its second win. However, the competition for the cup continued after Lucien Rosengart, then a director of Peugeot, offered to make it available again. The Brescia race ran along the route Brescia-Cremona-Mantua-Brescia. In 1908, the race used the Circuito di Bologna: Bologna-Castelfranco Emilia-Sant'Agata Bolognese-San Giovanni in Persiceto-Bologna. After 1914, most of the Coppa Florio races were co-organized with the Targa Florio at the Circuito delle Madonie circuit outside Palermo, Sicily, running four or five laps, 108 km each. Only in 1927 did the race move to Saint-Brieuc, in honour of Peugeot's second win in 1925. The race attracted teams from around Europe as well as the 1921 Grand Prix Sunbeams from England and saw such luminaries as Sir Henry Segrave and Jean Chassagne competing.Show Article
Charles Steward Rolls (32), pioneer aviator and co-founder of Rolls Royce, was killed when the tail of his plane snapped off in mid-air during a flying exhibition in Bournemouth, England. The third son of Lord and Lady Llangattock, who had their ancestral seat in Monmouth, Wales, Rolls was a card-carrying member of the British aristocracy. He was educated at Eton and at Cambridge University’s Trinity College, where he first developed his love for the new sport of motoring. His first vehicle, a Peugeot with 3.75 horsepower, was the first car to be seen at Cambridge, and enabled him to drive home to Monmouth in an astonishingly quick time of two days. In 1900, Rolls drove a 12-horsepower Panhard car in the famous British auto race the Thousand Mile Trial; he also took part in a number of other early long-distance European races. Considered the best driver in Wales, he was reportedly responsible for changing the national speed limit at the time from 4 to 12 miles per hour. In 1902, Rolls went into the business of selling cars. Two years later, at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, England, he met with Frederick Henry Royce, an electrical engineer of modest background who had his own engineering business, Royce Ltd., and had built several experimental cars of his own design. After that historic meeting, Rolls and Royce merged their firms in 1906 to form Rolls-Royce Ltd. The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, produced that year, became one of the world’s most admired cars. While Royce was responsible for every aspect of car design, Rolls provided the bulk of the financing, as well as the social connections that helped make sales. In addition to automobiles, Rolls became passionate about aviation, including hot air balloons and early airplanes. In February 1910, Rolls wrote to the inventor Wilbur Wright to complain about the Wright plane he had bought in Europe. In the letter, Rolls told Wright he had resigned his former position at Rolls Royce and taken another, which “does not require any regular attendance at the office,” in order “to devote myself to flight.” That June, Rolls became the first aviator to fly nonstop across the English Channel and back.
Charles RollsShow Article
Ettore Bugatti signed a contract with Peugeot to produce his 30th automobile design as the Peugeot Bebe.Show Article
The Vanden Plas (England) Ltd coachbuilding firm was founded. The coachbuilder's name first appeared in the United Kingdom in 1906 when Métallurgique cars were imported with Vanden Plas coachwork. The first Vanden Plas company in England was established by Warwick Wright (now Peugeot dealers) in 1913, building bodies under license from Vanden Plas Belgium. During World War I UK activities were switched to aircraft production and the UK business was bought by Aircraft Manufacturing Company who were based at Hendon near London. In 1917 a company, Vanden Plas (1917) Ltd., was incorporated. After the war it seems to have been a struggle to get back into coachbuilding and in 1922 that company was placed in receivership. The exclusive UK naming rights seem to have been lost as in the early 1920s the Belgian firm was exhibiting at the London Motor Show alongside the British business. In 1923 the rights to the name and the goodwill were purchased by the Fox brothers who incorporated Vanden Plas (England) 1923 Limited. They moved the business from Hendon to Kingsbury and built on the contacts that had been made with Bentley. Between 1924 and 1931, when Bentley failed, Vanden Plas built the bodies for over 700 of their chassis. In the 1930s the company became less dependent on one car maker and supplied coachwork to such as Alvis, Armstrong Siddeley, Bentley, Daimler, Lagonda and Rolls-Royce. The company also updated its production methods and took to making small batches of similar bodies. With the outbreak of war in 1939 the company returned to aircraft work, and coachbuilding stopped. During the War the company manufactured the wooden framework for the De Havilland Mosquito, one of the most successful aircraft of WWII. After the war the company continued its association with De Havilland and manufactured parts for the DH Vampire jet fighter. With peace in 1945 the company looked to restart its old business when a new customer came along. Austin wanted to market a chauffeur-driven version of its in-house-built large 4-litre Rolls-Royce-size A110 Sheerline luxury car and approached Vanden Plas. Vanden Plas became a subsidiary of the Austin Motor Company in 1946 and produced Austin's A120 Princess model on the Austin Sheerline chassis. From 1958 this also began to involve chassis assembly and the Austin (now BMC) board recognised Vanden Plas as a motor manufacturer in its own right dropping Austin from the name so the Princess could be sold by Nuffield dealers. In 1960 the Princess became the Vanden Plas Princess. Austin was joined in BMC by Jaguar with its new subsidiary Daimler. Production of Princess limousines ended in 1968 when they were replaced with Daimler DS420 limousines (Jaguar had acquired Daimler in 1960) built by Vanden Plas on a lengthened Jaguar Mark X platform. The DS420 was produced at the Kingsbury Lane Vanden Plas factory until it closed in November 1979. The British Leyland overall holding company board decided in 1967 there were insufficient funds in the group advertising budget to cope with marketing in North America the Daimler brand as well as Jaguar. This decision was later changed but Vanden Plas is used in North America instead of Daimler on Jaguar's top luxury models. Ownership of the Vanden Plas name stayed with the Rover Group so when Rover was sold Jaguar was obliged to stop using Vanden Plas in the United Kingdom though it continues to do so in America. Within the UK a Daimler Double-Six Vanden Plas became a plain Daimler Double-Six. Also in 1957/8, Vanden Plas were asked by Leonard Lord to add luxury fittings to a batch of Austin A105 Westminster cars, beginning the practice of using the company's skills and name for badge-engineered (and genuinely improved) luxury versions of many of the BMC (and later British Leyland (BL)) cars such as the 1100/1300 range and the Allegro (known as the Vanden Plas 1500, 1.5 & 1.7 ). From 1985 to 1989, Austin Rover made upmarket Vanden Plas models within its Metro, Maestro, Montego and Rover SD1 ranges. The name is also used in North America on Jaguar cars otherwise branded Daimler in other markets.
1938 Daimler 8 Vanden PlasShow Article
French born Jules Goux driving a Peugeot L76 recorded a 13 minute, 8 second victory over second place Spencer Wishart in the Indianapolis 500. Goux's victory was the first race, excluding the first, won by a rookie driver.
1913 Indianapolis 500 raceShow Article
Racer Paolo Zuccarelli (28) was killed along with his riding mechanic, Fanelli, when their Peugeot crashed between Thomery and Tivoli, France during a practice run for the upcoming French Grand Prix at Amiens.
Paolo ZuccarelliShow Article
The buildup to the Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France and the race itself were marred by three fatal crashes. Bigio was killed testing his Itala before the race. In a separate incident before the race, Paul Zuccarelli was killed when his Peugeot crashed into a cart, and a spectator was killed when Kenelm Lee Guinness's Sunbeam crashed into a river. After this race, this circuit- which included an 8-mile (13 km) long straight (which is now known as the D934)- was never used again for motor racing.Georges Boillot won for the second year in succession, at an average speed of 72.141 mph (116.096 km/h). The fastest lap was set by Paul Bablot, at an average speed of 76.718 mph (123.462 km/h).
Georges Boillot at the 1913 French Grand PrixShow Article
Mercedes finished 1-2-3 at the French Grand Prix at Lyon, the last Grand Prix before World War One. An estimated crowd of over 300,000 watched 37 cars start in pairs with a 30-second gap between each pair. German Christian Lautenschlager won the 480-mile race at 65.55 mph. A Peugeot driven by Georges Boillot, who had won 19th French Grand Prix in both the previous 2 years and was seen as the defender of French honour against the Germans, retired after 19 laps with engine failure.
Grid at the start of the 1914 French Grand Prix.Show Article
Armand Peugeot (65), French industrialist, pioneer of the automobile industry and the founder of the French firm Peugeot, died.Show Article
Italian Dario Resta, driving a Peugeot EX3, won the American Grand Prix race through the streets of San Francisco, California. He followed this with a victory in the Vanderbilt Cup. After leading during the final stages of that year's Indianapolis 500, he finished second to Ralph DePalma when his car skidded and he had to make a pitstop for tires. Resta then drove his blue Peugeot to victory in the inaugural 500 mile race on the board track at the Chicago Speedway in June. The race received eighteen pages of coverage in the July 1 issue of Motor Age magazine. In 1916, en route to winning the United States National Driving Championship, Resta repeated as the winner of the Vanderbilt Cup plus he won the Indianapolis 500, the Chicago 300, the Minneapolis 150 and the Omaha 150 races.
American Grand Prix - 1915Show Article
Bob Burman won a match race at Ascot in California driving a Peugeot powered by a Harry Miller built engine. This was the first race win for a Miller built engine.Show Article
Bob Burman drove his Peugeot to victory in the 'Southwest Sweepstakes' AAA Championship race held on a course of public roads in Oklahoma City. Burman averaged 67.9 mph for the 199.5 mile distance.Show Article
The two mile Chicago board track opened with a 500-mile AAA saunctioned race, won by Dario Resta’s Peugeot at 97.58 mph. Before the race Barney Oldfield set a speed of over 111 mph in an exhibition run.
Georges Louis Frederic Boillot (31), a mechanic by training who began automobile racing in 1908 and became a driving force behind the Peugeot Grand Prix team, died. He become a household name in 1912, winning the French Grand Prix in his Peugeot L76, the first motorcar in the world to have an engine with two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. The following year Boillot won the Coupe de l’Auto and became the first driver to win the French GP twice. In 1913 he was part of the Peugeot’s squad in the Indianapolis 500, setting a new speed record of 99.86 mph (160.70 km/h) in qualifying. While Peugeot dominated the event with Rene Thomas taking the win, Boillot got frustrated with repeated tire failures. A similar fate befell the Frenchman in what would be his last race, the 1914 French Grand Prix at Lyon. His Peugeot was in trouble and finally overheated on the last lap, forcing him to relinquish a top result. When WWI broke out, Boillot became a skilled pilot the new French Air Force, receiving medals such as the Croix de Guerre and the Legion d’Honneur. Georges Boillot was shot down in a dogfight over Verdun-sur-Meuse, his plane crashing near Bar-le-Duc. and despite being taken to the military hospital at Vadelaincourt in a hurry, he didn’t survive the crash.
Georges Boillot at the 1914 French Grand PrixShow Article
Barney Oldfield ran a qualifying lap in his front-wheel-drive Christie at 102.6 mph. It was the first time any driver had rounded the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in excess of 100 mph. Oldfield ended up finishing fifth on race day, as Dario Resta beat the field in his Peugeot .Barney Oldfield is remarkable for having set so many landmarks in so many different places in so many different cars. He had a knack for creating history. It was Oldfield who first drove Ford's 888 cars to success; Oldfield who made Harry Miller famous in the Golden Submarine; Oldfield who beat Ralph DePalma in a series of match races. He somehow always managed to associate himself with the famous figures and venues of his time. He even served a ban for drag racing the African-American heavyweight champion of the world, Jack Johnson.Show Article
The 2-mile Cincinnati (Ohio) Board Speedway opened with a 300-mile event featuring 29 cars piloted by the country's premier racing drivers including Howdy Wilcox, Dario Resta, Tommy Milton and Louis Chevrolet driving Dusenbergs, Stutzs and Frontenecs. Josef Christieans in a Sunbeam set the fast time in qualifying with a speed of 110 mph. The race was won by John Aitken in a Peugeot at 97.06 mph. Wilbur D'Alene finished second in a Duesenberg which was numbered '13' over the objections of many superstitious drivers who subsequently persuaded the AAA to permanently ban number '13'. Motorcyclists like "Cannonball Baker" also exceeded the 100mph plateau at the Cincinnati Speedway on a regular basis. Endurance runs where a popular use for the track; manufacturers needed to test their new designs and racetracks were the places to perform those tests. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built to be used as a testing facility by the multitude of manufacturers in Indiana, the 500 mile race grew out of this enterprise as a way to prove the results of all that testing. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was constructed in 1909 and the first Indy 500 was in 1911, five years later the board tracks were becoming the rage due to ease of construction and the fact that they could be built with tremendously steep banking to assure high speeds that would wow the crowds into coming through the gates. The Cincinnati Speedway as banking reported to be over 30 degrees in the turns by many sources while and in some articles the banking is said to be 40 degrees at the top of the track. This explains the term "Daredevils of the Speedway" in describing the drivers and "riding mechanics" of the day. Being fabricated out of wood allowed the racing surface to incorporate "progressive banking" that gets steeper towards the top, this is the same metric that many NASCAR type tracks are applying, Las Vegas, Bristol, and Charlotte to name a few and allows a variance in speed that makes passing more frequent and the racing more exciting. Board tracks sprang up across the nation and provided entertainment for millions of spectators from coast to coast in places like Beverly Hills California, Daytona Beach Florida, Chicago and Altoona Pa. The track at Cincinnati was very similar to the track at Chicago in shape and size. The board tracks proved popular through the 1920s until the great depression came and the maintenance of these mammoth structures became impossible and the last of them were torn down. The Cincinnati Speedway was dismantled after the 1919 racing season, only a few years after construction, supposedly the wood was used to build parts of Camp Sherman near Chillicothe. The board tracks were very dangerous for the drivers and riding mechanics, of course there were no seatbelts and other safety features were decades away. The board track at Beverly Hills claimed the life of Gaston Chevrolet just a few months after his win at the famed Brickyard on Decoration Day, the same fate befell Joe Boyer just a few years later at Altoona Pa..
Cincinnati Board Speedway - September 1916Show Article
The first 4.8 litre Ballot race car was built to compete in the forthcoming Indianapolis 500 race, scheduled for 30 May 1919.Time seemed very short, but Ballot lost no time, notably recruiting the Swiss born engineer Ernest Henry who had already worked on preparing Peugeot cars for their successful participation in the 1914 Indianapolis 500 race. Ballot's cars competed in the 1919 race, two of them finishing in 4th and 11th places. Ballot was sufficiently encouraged to return the next year, and in the 1920 Indianapolis 500 race a Ballot driven by René Thomas finished in 2nd place: Ballots also took the 5th and 7th places. A Ballot vehicle driven by René Thomas also finished second in the 1919 Targa Florio. More successes followed, on both sides of the Atlantic. Ralph DePalma, an American national champion and winner of the 1915 Indianapolis 500, finished second in the 1921 French Grand Prix and French driver Jules Goux finished third. Goux went on to win the inaugural Italian Grand Prix at Brescia, Italy in 1921, driving a Ballot. Second place was taken by the team leader Jean Chassagne on a sister car; a year before, in 1920 Chassagne made fastest BARC lap of the year at Brooklands on a 4.9lt Ballot, coming again second. A Ballot with a straight-eight-cylinder 4.9-litre engine competed in the 1921 French Grand Prix.
Ballot race car - 1919Show Article
With the track reopened after the war, local Indiana-born driver Howdy Wilcox driving a Peugeot broke a four-race winning streak by European drivers at the '500'. 19 rookies started the race, the most newcomers in one Indy 500 field (if one discounts the "all-rookie" field of 1911). It was also the first Indy 500 win for Goodyear tyres and the first playing of the song "Back Home Again in Indiana" at the 500.
1919 Indianapolis 500Show Article
Andre Boillot in a 2.5 litre Peugeot won the first major post-war race in Europe, the Targa Florio, over a gruelling, snow-hit and foggy 268-mile road course in Scicily. His finish was one of the most unusual in racing history. As he braked for the final corner he lost control and spun into the grandstand less than 30 yards from the line. Spectators helped push his car from the wreckage and, dazed and bloodied, he manoeuvred his damaged vehicle over the line in reverse. Aware he faced disqualification, Ernest Ballot, the owner of the car in second place, sportingly persuaded Boillot to drive back to the point of the accident and re-cross the line going forward. He did so, securing an undisputed win. Exhausted, he immediately collapsed. The race also featured a young Enzo Ferrari, driving a Lancia, and was notable for Antonio Ascari driving straight off the road into a ravine.Show Article
Racer Eddie O’Donnell (33) died in Beverly Hills, California from injuries suffered the previous day when his Duesenberg collided with the Frontenac driven by Gaston Chevrolet. Chevrolet was killed as well as O'Donnell's mechanic Lyall Jolls, who died the next day. O'Donnell started his career as a riding mechanic for Duesenberg race car driver Eddie Rickenbacker. When Rickenbacker left the Duesenberg Team to join the Peugeot Team, O'Donnell took over as driver. O'Donnell served as Captain of the Duesenberg team. He was highly successful on the dirt tracks and Board Tracks around the United States, also having raced on the road circuits.
Eddie O’DonnellShow Article
Coppa Florio VI run over 432 km of the Medio Madonie circuit on Sicily was won by André Boillot driving a Peugeot in a time of 7 hours 9 minutes. The surface of the 69 mile circuit was rough and included over 1,600 corners. Upon inspecting the circuit, Louis Coatalen exclaimed “Quel spectacle de desolation!”. There were nine starters: two Sunbeams, two Peugeot, three Diatto and a couple of O.Ms. The cars were dispatched under the gaze of the ex-King Constantine and ex-queen of Greece at five-minute intervals; only four cars finished – the two Peugeot and the two Sunbeam.The steep gradient of the course caused oil to collect at the back of the Sunbeam engine sump, which resulted in oiled up plugs, the change of which caused delays. Segrave was further delayed during the race helping extricate Meregalli and his riding mechanic who were pinned underneath their overturned Diatto; the driving mechanic died of his injuries – the first fatal accident to occur on the Sicilian circuit. Notwithstanding this and other delays, Segrave finished in second after 8hr 15min and 07 sec (32.351mph) to Boillot winning Peugeot. On the last but one lap, high up in the Madonie Circuit Mountains in the vicinity of Polizzi a stone fractured the oil pipe of J Chassagne’s mount. Unruffled Chassagne replenished the car with sufficient Olive oil purchased from a nearby village shop. He finished in fourth place.
1922 Coppa Florio VIShow Article
Chrysler introduced the DeSoto as the corporation's new brand. The Detroit Free Press reported: "Probably no development of the past five years has created so profound a stir in the automobile industry as the current announcement that the new De Soto Six, which will be presented to the public in the next three months, is to be built by Chrysler.” With hardly any more information than this, over 500 dealers signed for franchises. Production for the 1929 model began in July, 1928, and official announcement was made at the January, 1929, New York Automobile Show. With the unveiling of De Soto at a price of $845, Walter P. Chrysler felt that he had closed a marketing gap between Dodge and Chrysler. During the first twelve months, DeSoto production set a record 81,065 cars. DeSoto built more cars during its first year than had Chrysler, Pontiac, or Graham-Paige. The record stood for nearly thirty years. The car name honored Hernando de Soto, the 16th century Spaniard who discovered the Mississippi River and had covered more North American territory than any other early explorer. As Chrysler introduced the new DeSoto, the company purchased the Dodge Brothers which gave Chrysler two mid-priced lines. With the DeSoto priced below Dodge, the two-make approach to the mid-priced market niche worked. In 1933, Chrysler reversed the position of DeSoto and Dodge in the hopes of increasing Dodge sales. This meant that DeSoto was now priced higher than Dodge. Chrysler began wind tunnel testing in 1927 and the quest for the ideal aerodynamic body which would save gasoline and increase speed. The result was the Airflow body. In 1934, the DeSoto used Chrysler’s streamlined Airflow bodies. The streamlined Airflow was originally designed for the Chrysler. However, the DeSoto wheelbase was shorter and the design was unpopular. While Chrysler offered both Airflow and standard models, the DeSoto was available only in an Airflow design.In Europe, the DeSoto Airflow was a major hit and European carmakers such as Volvo, Renault, and Peugeot began to copy the look. In the U.S., DeSoto sales dropped by 47%. In 1935, DeSoto returned to conventional styling and sales doubled. Like all automakers, DeSoto production stopped during World War II. Following the war, DeSoto reissued the 1941 model as the 1946 model. DeSoto went on to build its most-exciting cars in the '50s, only to die in late 1960 after a flash recession and sibling rivalry obliterated its narrow, well-defined price niche.
The De Soto marque was founded by Walter P. Chrysler, and introduced for the 1929 model year. It was named after the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. It ceased to exist in 1961.The new automobile logo featured a stylized image of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. Chrysler’s announcement of the new DeSoto immediately attracted 500 deals and by the end of the year there were 1,500 dealerships. As Chrysler was bring out the new DeSoto, the company purchased the Dodge Brothers which gave Chrysler two mid-priced lines. With the DeSoto priced below Dodge, the two-make approach to the mid-priced market niche worked. In 1933, Chrysler reversed the position of DeSoto and Dodge in the hopes of increasing Dodge sales. This meant that DeSoto was now priced higher than Dodge. Chrysler began wind tunnel testing in 1927 and the quest for the ideal aerodynamic body which would save gasoline and increase speed. The result was the Airflow body. In 1934, the DeSoto used Chrysler’s streamlined Airflow bodies. The streamlined Airflow was originally designed for the Chrysler. However, the DeSoto wheelbase was shorter and the design was unpopular. While Chrysler offered both Airflow and standard models, the DeSoto was available only in an Airflow design. The Airflow design was a radical change in the way automobiles looked and performed. When asked if the public was ready for anything so radical, Mr. Chrysler replied: “I know the public is always ready for what it wants... and the public is always able to recognize genuine improvement.” In Europe, the DeSoto Airflow was a major hit and European carmakers such as Volvo, Renault, and Peugeot began to copy the look. In the U.S., DeSoto sales dropped by 47%. In 1935, DeSoto returned to conventional styling and sales doubled. Like all automakers, DeSoto production stopped during World War II. Following the war, DeSoto reissued the 1941 model as the 1946 model. In 1952, DeSoto addedthe Firedome with a 276-cid Hemi engine. In 1953, DeSoto dropped the Deluxe and Custom designations and designated its six-cylinder cars the Powermaster and its V-8 as the Firedome. In 1960, DeSoto production stopped shortly after the 1961 models were introduced. Nine DeSoto dealers in New Jersey, angered by the sudden cancellation of the DeSoto, filed suit against Chrysler Corporation. They eventually won their case.
De Soto automobile advert c. 1929Show Article
Peugeot unveiled the car which quickly became known simply as the 201, at the Paris Show, under the name 6 hp Type 201. It was the first Peugeot car to have an '0' in the middle of its name - a policy still followed today. Peugeot registered a trademark based on having 3 digits with a central zero. Following the 1931 Motor Show, the 201 was the first car in the world to have independent front wheels as standard. This feature coupled with its fuel economy ensured that it enjoyed broad success, enabling Peugeot to survive the economic crisis relatively easily.
Peugeot 201Show Article
French racing pioneer, André Boillot (41) in a 301 sports Peugeot crashed into a tree during hillclimb Ars-La Châtre (France) practice and died five days later. André Boillot began racing cars at a young age. However, World War I not only disrupted his career but claimed the life of his brother in 1916. After the war, André Boillot returned to racing as part of the Peugeot factory team and drove their EXS model to victory in the 1919 Targa Florio. French drivers had been a major force since the inception of the Indianapolis 500 in the United States and he was part of a large post-war contingent of entrants from France. Boillot competed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the 1919 "500" and was in the thick of things when he crashed with only five laps remaining. He returned to race in the event in 1920 and 1921 but both times went out early with mechanical problems. In Europe, he won the 1922 and 1925 editions of the Coppa Florio and in 1926 he and co-pilot Louis Rigal won the Spa 24 Hours in Belgium.
André Boillot in his Peugeot 1924Show Article
Twenty six French motor manufacturers exhibited at the Paris Motor Show. Vehicles introduced included Delage D4, a 4-cylinder compact luxury car in the 8CV car tax band. Peugeot revealed an aerodynamic shape for its full range of cars, with shell headlights, a slightly inclined radiator grill and low-swooping wings. The aerodynamic 301 was also unveiled, featuring a back with a profile like a dress with a flowing train.
Paris Auto Show - 1933Show Article
La Société Industrielle de Méchanique et de Carrosserie Automobile, SIMCA, was formed with FIAT at 163 to 185 Avenue Georges Clemenceau, in Nanterre, France. Simca was affiliated with Fiat and then, after Simca bought Ford's French activities, became increasingly controlled by the Chrysler Group. In 1970, Simca became a subsidiary and brand of Chrysler Europe, ending its period as an independent company. Simca disappeared in 1978, when Chrysler divested its European operations to another French automaker, PSA Peugeot Citroën. PSA replaced the Simca brand with Talbot after a short period when some models were badged as Simca-Talbots.
The 402 was introduced at the Paris Show marking a turning-point in the history of the Peugeot brand, which was ahead of all its competitors in introducing an aerodynamic body as standard. This was the famous "Sochaux rocket" range, characterised by fluid lines and a shield-shaped grill to protect the headlights. In addition, a semi-automatic version of the 402 was also shown on the stand, featuring a Cotal electro-mechanical gearbox.
Peugeot 402Show Article
The electric microcar the Peugeot VLV was formally announced. VLV stood for Voiture Légère de Ville (Light City Car). Built in response to restrictions imposed on non-military users by the occupying German forces, the VLV was powered by four 12V batteries placed under the hood giving it a top speed of 22 mph and a range of 50 miles.
Peugeot VLVShow Article
Race car designer Harry A Miller (67), died in Detroit, Michigan, US. Miller's first work in the automotive business was with the short-lived Yale Automobile Company. From Yale he moved to Lansing, Michigan to work for motoring pioneer Ransom E. Olds at Oldsmobile, where he was employed as a race mechanic during the early Vanderbilt cup races. After a poor 1906 race season, Miller left for Los Angeles, California, to open a small machine shop specializing in carburetor production. Among Miller's innovations include perhaps the first engine mounted on a bicycle and the first outboard motor. Miller built a 4 cylinder engine and mounted it on a boat. His neighbor, Ole Evinrude, removed two cylinders and patented the first outboard motor. Miller also produced the first aluminum pistons, developed the aluminum alloys still used in engine development today, and the first carburetors and induction system to use Helmholtz resonators. Miller also produced the first front drive race cars and the first 4 wheel drive car. His involvement with the racing side of his carburetor business led first to repairing and then building race cars. In the 1910s, Miller was making $1 million per year through sales of his carburetors. In the early 1920s, he built his own 3.0 litre (183 in³) engine. Inspired by multiple engine designs including Duesenberg and Peugeot engines which had been serviced in his shop. It had 4 cylinders, dual overhead camshafts and 4 valves per cylinder. Tommy Milton supplied the financial backing to produce this engine but it was Jimmy Murphy who first won with it. It powered Jimmy Murphy's Duesenberg to victory in the 1922 Indianapolis 500. Miller then progressed to making Miller single-seater race cars that used supercharged versions of his 2.0 and 1.5 liter (122 and 91 in³) engines. The engines took four more wins in the 500 up to 1929, twice (1926 and 1928) in Miller chassis, and won the race another seven times between 1929 and 1938 (twice again, in 1930 and 1932, in Miller chassis). In the 1920s and 1930s, Miller engines also powered speedboats to several race wins and world water speed records. Among those that won with his engines on the water was the great Gar Wood. Miller declared bankruptcy in 1933. His shop foreman and chief machinist Fred Offenhauser purchased the business and continued development of the engine as the Offenhauser which raced successfully until the 1980s. After bankruptcy, Miller built race cars with Indianapolis 500 enthusiast Preston Tucker and in 1935 they formed Miller and Tucker, Inc., whose first job was to build ten modified Ford V-8 racers for Henry Ford. With insufficient time available for their development and testing, all these cars dropped out when the steering boxes, installed too close to the exhaust, overheated and locked up. The design was later perfected by privateers, and examples ran at Indianapolis through 1948. Miller and Tucker, Inc. moved to Indianapolis and continued race car development and construction. In the late 1930s Miller and Tucker also developed the Tucker Combat Car and tried unsuccessfully to sell it to the Dutch and U.S. governments. The car was capable of 115 mph (185 km/h) on pavement and 65 mph (105 km/h) on rough terrain, and had several innovative features including a power-operated gun turret, which the U.S. government bought and used in numerous applications including the B-17 and B-29, PT boats, and landing craft. Miller took some of the design elements from the Tucker Combat Car, notably the suspension, to American Bantam, where he was involved with the development of the first Jeep. Tucker and Miller worked together off and on until Miller's death in 1943. Tucker helped Miller's widow pay the funeral costs. It was while working with Miller that Tucker had met chief mechanic John Eddie Offutt, who would later help him develop and build the first prototype of the 1948 Tucker Sedan.
Harry A MillerShow Article
During the night of 15 to 16 July, RAF Lancaster planes bombarded Peugeot car-manufacturing factories at Sochaux, near Montbéliard, France. The raid caused little damage but over 100 French civilian workers were killed.Show Article
President Louis Horowitz and Vice President Charles D. Thomas of the Playboy Motor Car Corporation of Buffalo, New York announced plans to produce a subcompact car, the Playboy. The most interesting feature of the new Playboy was the fold-down steel top. This was hinged in the middle above the passengers and the seam was sealed with a rubber gasket that company engineers swore would not leak. It was counterbalanced and manually operated and could be raised and lowered from the driver's seat. When folded, the top formed part of the rear deck. In this endeavour, Playboy joined a few others such as Peugeot in the 1930s and Ford's retractable Skyliner of the '50s. Several manufacturers now offer true hard-top convertibles. Apart from the folding steel top the rest of the Playboy was pretty conventional. Its 40-horsepower Continental (and a few Hercules) four-cylinder, side-valve engine drove the rear wheels through a three-speed manual transmission. The car was quite small with a 2,286 mm (90 in.) wheelbase, width of 1,473 mm (58 in.) and over-all length of just 3,962 mm (156 in.). And the tiny 6.00 by 12-inch tires must have been taxed to support the Playboy's 862 kg (1,900 lb) weight. The body and frame were welded together to form a kind of unit construction. The Playboy was an "assembled" car in that major components like engine, transmission and other parts came from outside sources. The company turned this to its advantage by advertising that "all standard automotive parts are used, thus facilitating servicing." Suspension was conventional, being independent A-arms and coil springs in front and a solid axle and leaf springs at the rear.
At the Paris Motor Show in October, Peugeot unveiled the 203, its first totally new postwar car. The 203 has a rare feature for a standardised production car of 4 cylinders with hemispherical Alpax cylinder heads and V-inclined valve heads with spark plugs fitted in a central well. Structurally, this was the first time that Peugeot offered a monocoque shell. The 4-door saloon was the major seller, but from 1950 a commodious 4-door version (Commerciale) and a 6-seat (Familiale), with three rows of seats, were also offered on a wheelbase lengthened by 20 cm (7.9 in) to 278 cm (109 in). By taking the trouble to extend the wheelbase for the estate and family versions, the company set a pattern which they would follow with several succeeding generations of large family Peugeot estates such as the 404 and 504. In October 1952 the Paris Motor Show welcomed a modified 203 which now featured hinged quarter light windows  on the front ends of the front doors and an enlarged rear window on the saloon versions. This upgrade also saw the removal of the speedometer from the centre of the dashboard to a position directly ahead of the driver. Until 1953 the protruding fuel filler cap was rather exposed. (From 1953 it was recessed and protected by a flap.) Publicity shots from the early 1950s tend to avoid showing the rear of the car from the right side. That changes with 203s displayed at the 1953 Motor Show, after which the hitherto protruding fuel filler cap was sunk a couple of centimeters lower into the rear wing, and gained the protection of an opening flap set flush with the line of the bodywork. Along with improvements to the existing cars, Peugeot introduced a 2-door 203 coupé at the end of 1952, although this was not as successful as hoped and quietly disappears from the brochures a year later. There were several low volume cabriolet and coupé conversions produced by outside specialists in collaboration with Peugeot available during the 203's production run, though removing the roof from an early monocoque design necessitated extensive body strengthening which added to the car's weight and reduced the performance. For a number years the leading edge of car's nose carried an angular, forward-leaning chrome lion bonnet ornament – the lion image being Peugeot's trade mark. That was removed for 1959, due to safety concerns, and the logo was incorporated into a baguette shaped flatter emblem on the car's nose. A military variant was developed and presented to the military who showed little interest. The prototype was converted into a factory fire engine for the Peugeot plant.
Swiss-born Ernest Henry, the man who gave the world the double overhead camshaft, died alone in Paris. He developed auto racing engines, and is especially well known for his work for Peugeot and Ballot, who ruled most of the major auto racing from 1912 to 1921. His design directly influenced Sunbeam Racing cars as early as 1914; the 1921 Grand Prix Sunbeams owe much to his work with Ballot and the 1922 Grand Prix Sunbeams were designed by him. His engine operational architecture was the precursor of modern engines. One biographer called him "perhaps the most brilliant engine designer ever"; another described one of his designs as "so technically advanced it could have landed from outer space". Henry's "theory, design and execution" of twin-cam engines was to guide engine development in Europe and then around the world for the next century.
Ernest HenryShow Article
Peugeot unveiled the 403. For the first time, Peugeot called on the services of the Turin-based Italian designer, Pininfarina, to design one of its models. This marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration that still continues. The 403 was also the first Peugeot to have a convex wind-screen and the first model to reach the million production mark.
Peugeot 403Show Article
John Davenport Siddeley (87), Lord Kenilworth, Chairman of the Armstrong-Siddeley Motors Ltd., died in Jersey, Channel Islands. He was born on August 5, 1866 at Chorlton upon Medlock, an inner suburb of Manchester, the eldest son of William Siddeley and Elizabeth, née Davenport. Leavng school at 15, he worked in his father's business as an apprentice hosier but meantime attended classes at Manchester Technical College and afterwards at Owens (now Manchester University), where he developed his mechanical acumen to the extent that in 1885 he began designing bicycles. In 1892 he went to Coventry as the only draftsman and designer at the Humber Cycle Works. From the Humber Works he went to the Dunlop organisation and was appointed sales manager in Belfast, before returning to the midlands to run Dunlop's subsidiary, the Clipper Tyre Company. For publicity, Siddeley became the first person to ride a bicycle from John o' Groats to Land's End. He then became involved with motor cars, at first through pneumatic tyres, which led him to form the Siddeley Autocar Company in 1902, utilizing Peugeot designs under licence. His success persuaded the Wolseley Tool & Motor Car Company, which was part of Vickers Sons & Maxim, to hire him and there he honed his management skills before resigning as general manager in 1909. He became managing director of the struggling Deasy Motor Car Manufacturing Company in Parkside, Coventry and so transformed its position that the marque was renamed Siddeley-Deasy. The war was the making of the company, leading first to government orders for lorries and motor cars and then, most significantly, to aero-engine and airframe production. Siddeley persuaded the directors to sanction a move into the aviation field. Siddeley's engineers resolved the teething problems of the B.H.P. (Beardmore-Halford-Pullinger) aero-engine and it became the Siddeley Puma; it proved so reliable that it was the principal design in use by British bombers at the war's conclusion. The engineering staff was considerably strengthened when a number of distinguished personnel arrived from the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough in 1917. To support his ambitious post-war plans, Siddeley arranged a take-over by the armaments and shipbuilding giant Armstrong Whitworth, in April 1919, with Siddeley-Deasy becoming Armstrong Siddeley Motors. Later, in July 1920, Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth Aircraft Ltd was formed. Both companies were under the umbrella of a holding company, the Armstrong Whitworth Development Company. Siddeley made successful strides into the armaments field, receiving a knighthood in 1932 for the tank engine supplied to Vickers. The major success story of the decade was with the Jaguar air-cooled aero-engine, which was developed from a Farnborough design with Siddeley insistently prodding on the project. Its success was such that until the late 1920s Armstrong Siddeley was the major recipient of government orders for military aero-engines. Siddeley utilized this position to full advantage by having Armstrong Whitworth airframes designed around the Jaguar. The Siskin single-seater fighter and Argosy airliner were notable outcomes. In 1926 when he was at last elected to the board of the parent company, he discovered that it was in a most unsatisfactory financial state. This provided Siddeley with the opportunity to gain control of his companies and by February 1927 he was chairman of all three, with the holding company renamed the Armstrong Siddeley Development Company. In his final years, Siddeley expanded his business empire through a number of astute take-overs, which included the aeronautics firm A. V. Roe, the piston supplier Peter Hooker (which became High Duty Alloys), and Improved Gears Ltd (later Self-Changing Gears), whose gearbox was highly successful. While Siddeley was enjoying his success with the Jaguar engine his rivals, especially Bristol and Rolls-Royce, were busy producing high-power designs which Armstrong Siddeley was unable to match in the 1930s. Siddeley has been accused of complacency, of not devoting sufficient funds to research and development, and of undue interference with engine design, which led two of his major designers to leave. The death of two other critical engine staff was also crucial in diminishing Armstrong Siddeley's design capabilities, while Siddeley's reputation as a domineering employer deterred others of similar calibre from filling the vacancies. A major blow was sustained in 1934 when the Air Ministry preferred the Bristol-powered Gloster Gauntlet to the Armstrong Whitworth Scimitar. By 1935 Siddeley was nearing seventy. He had accumulated a large personal fortune and had no need to continue working. He arranged a merger with Hawker, for which he received £1 million and numerous benefits, officially retiring from his executive positions on 30 September 1936. Siddeley became a tax exile in Jersey, while maintaining several British homes. In 1937 he purchased Kenilworth Castle and the same year was created Baron Kenilworth.
John Davenport SiddeleyShow Article
The Porsche 911 was first shown as the 901 prototype at the Geneva Auto Show. Prior to the 901, there was the 356. This vehicle had lived a relatively long lifespan and was nearing its end, both in mechanical capabilities and in appeal. Many variations of the 356 had appeared during its production-run, most improvements where mechanical with very few visual improvements. Albeit, the 356 was a very beautiful car and improvements to its design were not necessary. In the Mid-1950's, the Porsche company began producing prototypes for the successor of the 356. The result was a vehicle built on the same unitary structure used for the 356 but with a new front suspension, front disc brakes, and a six-cylinder engine. The design was penned by Ferri 'Butsi' Porsche and was dubbed the 901. The name would not last due to the French company, Peugeot. Peugeot used the naming scheme where numbers were on the outside with a zero in the center. The 901 name was infringing on Peugoet's claim to the name, so the vehicle was designated 911 a year later. As a result, only a few Porsches used the 901 name. The 911 quickly built on the Porsche legend established by the 356 models. A process of continuous evolution has kept the 911 fresh for nearly 40 years, while impeccable build quality has ensured that most of even the very earliest cars have survived as desirable and usable classic cars.
Porsche 911 prototype - 1963Show Article
Renault and Peugeot agreed to form an 'association for immediate close cooperation' in research, design, investment and purchasing.Show Article
The Peugeot 204, known in development as Project B12, was launched in Paris, France. It used a front-wheel drive layout with a single overhead cam 1130 cc petrol engine (the maximum allowed for the 6CV 'car tax' class in France) and became the best-selling car in France from 1969 to 1971.
Peugeot 204Show Article
Battista "Pinin" Farina (72), founder of the Pininfarina coachbuilding company, and synonymous with some of the best-known classic Italian sports cars, died. At the age of 12, he began working beside his brother; five years later, when Giovanni set up his own shop, Stablimenti Industriali Farina S.A., to repair and build automobile bodies, young Pinin followed him as an apprentice. In spite of his youth, Farina was put in charge of design, which is how he came to meet Agnelli and win the older man's respect. His curiosity took him across the sea to America, where he met Henry Ford. He was offered a job with the Ford Motor Company, but chose to return to Italy, carrying with him an appreciation for the free enterprise system and the creativity it inspired. Farina took up racing, to the consternation of his wife and mother, and in 1921 drove his own car to victory in the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo race, beating prepared race cars and setting a course record that would stand for 11 years. It was during his racing days that he met a number of influential people, among them Vincenzo Lancia.In 1930, Farina decided the time had come to set out on his own. With the support of Lancia and a wealthy aunt, he opened a shop on Corso Trapani in Turin, and hired 100 employees. Already well known by his childhood nickname, he christened his new business Carrozzeria Pinin Farina, and chose as its emblem the familiar rectangle with a lower-case "f" (for "Farina") set off by red triangles in the upper left and lower right corners and topped with a crown.His plan was to construct custom bodies to order, as well as to produce small runs of six to a dozen examples of special models that he would sell directly to the public. Much of the carrozzeria's earliest work was on Italian chassis-those of his friend Lancia, as well as Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Isotta Fraschini and others. Farina's earliest designs were well-proportioned, conservative efforts in the Italian style, with heavy emphasis on unbroken horizontal lines. Intent on expanding the influence of the coachbuilder on chassis design, he persuaded Vincenzo Lancia that his radiators should be tilted back in the aerodynamic style then being pioneered in Europe. As his style developed, he would often be influenced by his peers, finding inspiration in Pontiac's Silver Streaks, Gordon Buehrig's Cord 812, and the Grand Prix cars of Mercedes-Benz. By 1939, he had 500 workers and was producing two cars per day. After World War II, when the Paris Auto Show barred him from participating as a citizen of a former Axis power, Farina and his son, Sergio, were audacious enough to drive two new cars, an Alfa Romeo Sport 2500 and a Lancia Aprilia cabriolet, to Paris, parking the cars outside the entrance to the motor show. "This devil Farina has opened his own personal anti-salon," grumbled the French press, but the crowds loved the cars.It was after the war that Farina was able to design what many consider his masterwork, and one of the most influential designs of all time, the Cisitalia 202 coupe of 1947. He had been involved in the design of the chassis from the beginning, and was able to realize many of his long-held dreams, including the horizontal radiator and seamless integration of the fenders with the body sides. Immortality arrived quickly; in 1951, the Museum of Modern Art in New York named the Cisitalia one of the ten great automotive designs of all time, and put the car on display. The company grew and prospered through the 1950s. Carrozzeria Pinin Farina now could not only design models for major manufacturers, but could build them in quantity as well. He created models based on the Lancia Aurelia, Alfa Romeo 1900 and 6C2500, Fiat 1100, and Maserati A6; he designed the 1952 Ambassador for Nash, and the Nash-Healey sports car as well. Designs for the British Motor Corporation and Peugeot flew off his drawing board. In 1958, he relocated the company to a larger site at Grugliasco, outside Turin. Of course, the single marque most closely associated with Farina is Ferrari, and it is probably inevitable that he and his fellow Italian, Enzo, would meet. Sergio has said that both men were too stubborn to visit the other's factories, and that their first meeting was at a restaurant midway between Turin and Maranello. Did Enzo really give Farina one minute to decide whether he would work for Ferrari or for Maserati? If that often-told story isn't true, it certainly could be. In 1961, by decree of the president of Italy, he was granted the last name Pininfarina, to recognize his industrial and social contributions to the nation. He turned control of the company over to his son, Sergio, and his son-in-law, Renzo Carli, and devoted his later years to travel, filmmaking, and cultural and charitable works. Among his many honors, he received the key to the city of Detroit
Battista "Pinin" FarinaShow Article
The Peugeot 504 made its public debut at the Paris Salon. It was a four-door saloon, available in carburated and injection 1796 cc 4 cylinder petrol engines, rated at 82 bhp and 97 bhp, respectively. Both models were available with either a four-speed manual (steering column shift) or automatic (ZF 3HP22) transmission. Both models also had a sunroof fitted as standard.
Peugeot 504Show Article
At the Paris Motor Show Peugeot unveiled its small mass-market saloon car, the 104. On its launch the Peugeot 104 was offered as a compact four-door fastback, powered by a 954 cc Douvrin engine, an all-aluminum alloy, chain driven overhead cam, with gearbox in the sump, sharing engine oil, which was jointly developed with Renault
The BMW 2002i of Achim Warmbold and Jean Todt won the Rally Australia. After a successful career as a rally co-driver Todt made his reputation in motor sport management, first with Peugeot Talbot Sport, then with Scuderia Ferrari, before being appointed Chief Executive Officer of Ferrari from 2004 to 2008. Since October 23, 2009 he has been President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).Show Article
Following negotiations with Michelin about control of Citroën, Peugeot took over the direction and management of Citroën. In April 1976, Peugeot become the principal shareholder in Citroën, taking 90% of Michelin's shares in that company. In an exchange of shares, Michelin took a 10% share of Peugeot.Show Article
Citroen and Peugeot merged.Show Article
The Ford Fiesta was formally launched. It was originally developed under the project name "Bobcat" and approved for development by Henry Ford II in September 1972. Development targets indicated a production cost US$100 less than the current Escort. The car was to have a wheelbase longer than that of the Fiat 127 (although shorter than some other rivals, like the Peugeot 104, Renault 5 and Volkswagen Polo), but with an overall length shorter than that of the Escort. The final proposal was developed by Tom Tjaarda at Ghia. The project was approved for production in December 1973, with Ford's engineering centres in Cologne and Dunton (Essex) collaborating. Ford estimated that 500,000 Fiestas a year would be produced, and built an all-new factory near Valencia, Spain; a trans-axle factory near Bordeaux, France; factory extensions for the assembly plants in Dagenham, UK. Final assembly also took place in Valencia. The name Fiesta belonged to General Motors when the car was designed, as they had used the name for the Oldsmobile Fiesta in the 1950s; however, it was freely given for Ford to use on their new supermini. Ford's marketing team had preferred the name Bravo, but Henry Ford II vetoed it in favour of the Fiesta name. The motoring press had begun speculating about the existence of the Bobcat project since 1973, but it was not until December 1975 that Ford officially announced it as the Fiesta. A Fiesta was on display at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 1976, and the car went on sale in France and Germany in September 1976; to the frustration of UK dealerships, right hand drive versions only began to appear in the UK in January 1977. Mechanically, the Fiesta followed tradition, with an end-on four-speed manual transmission of the Ford BC-Series mounted to a new version of the Ford Kent OHV engine, dubbed "Valencia" after the brand new Spanish factory in Almussafes, Valencia, developed especially to produce the new car. Ford's plants in Dagenham, England, and Saarlouis and Cologne (from 1979) in Germany, also manufactured Fiestas. To cut costs and speed up the research and development, the new powertrain package destined for the Fiesta was tested in Fiat 127 development "mules". Unlike several rivals, which used torsion bars in their suspension, the Fiesta used coil springs. The front suspension was of Ford's typical "track control arm" arrangement, where MacPherson struts were combined with lower control arms and longitudinal compression links.The standard rear suspension used a beam axle, trailing links and a Panhard rod, whilst an anti-roll bar was included in the sports package. All Mk1 Fiestas featured 12-inch wheels as standard, with disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. Ford paid particular attention ease of service, and published the times required to replace various common parts.UK sales began in January 1977, where it was available from £1,856 for the basic 950 cc-engined model. It was only the second hatchback mini-car to have been built in the UK at this stage, being launched a year after the Vauxhall Chevette, but a year before the Chrysler Sunbeam and four years before the Austin Metro. The millionth Fiesta was produced in 1979. The car was initially available in Europe with the Valencia 957 cc (58.4 cu in) I4 (high compression and low compression options), and 1,117 cc (68.2 cu in) engines and in Base, Popular, L, GL (1978 onward), Ghia and S trim, as well as a van. The U.S. Mark I Fiesta was built in Saarlouis, Germany but to slightly different specifications; U.S. models were Base, Decor, Sport, and Ghia, the Ghia having the highest level of trim. These trim levels changed very little in the F iesta's three-year run in the USA, from 1978 to 1980. All U.S. models featured the more powerful 1,596 cc (97.4 cu in) engine, (which was the older "Crossflow" version of the Kent, rather than the Valencia) fitted with a catalytic converter and air pump to satisfy strict Californian emission regulations), energy-absorbing bumpers, side-marker lamps, round sealed-beam headlamps, improved crash dynamics and fuel system integrity as well as optional air conditioning (a/c was not available in Europe). In the U.S. market, the Ford Escort replaced both the Fiesta and the compact Pinto in 1981. At the beginning of the British government's Motability scheme for disabled motorists in 1978, the Fiesta was one of the key cars to be available on the scheme. A sporting derivative (1.3 L Supersport) was offered in Europe for the 1980 model year, using the 1.3 L (79 cu in) Kent Crossflow engine, effectively to test the market for the similar XR2 introduced a year later, which featured a 1.6 L version of the same engine. Black plastic trim was added to the exterior and interior. The small square headlights were replaced with larger circular ones resulting in the front indicators being moved into the bumper to accommodate the change. With a quoted performance of 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 9.3 seconds and 105 mph (169 km/h) top speed, the XR2 hot hatch became a cult car beloved of boy racers throughout the 1980s. For the 1979 auto show season, Ford in conjunction with its Ghia Operations in Turin, Italy, produced the Ford Fiesta Tuareg off-road car. It was touted in press materials as "a concept vehicle designed and equipped for practical, off-road recreational use." Minor revisions appeared across the range in late 1981, with larger bumpers to meet crash worthiness regulations and other small improvements in a bid to maintain showroom appeal ahead of the forthcoming second generation. In 1978, the Fiesta overtook the Vauxhall Chevette as Britain's best-selling supermini, but in 1981 it was knocked off the top spot by British Leyland's Austin Metro and was still in second place at the end of 1982. The Fiesta has sold over 16 million units over 6 generations making it one of the best selling Ford marques behind the Escort and the F-Series.
The Citroen LN, which combined the bodyshell of the Peugeot 104 Z with the economical 602 cc two-cylinder petrol engine of the Citroën 2CV, was introduced. Equipment levels were low, but the LN's key selling points were its cheap price and low running costs.
The 5-door, 5-seat Citroen Visa, with a choice of two engines was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. The Special and Club had a 652 cm3 air-cooled flat twin engine developing 36 bhp DIN at 5,500 rpm, a 4 bhp rating and a maximum speed of 78 mph, while the Super had a Peugeot engine, 1,124 cm3, liquid-cooled 4-cylinder in-line developing 57 bhp DIN at 6,250 rpm, a 5 bhp rating and a maximum speed of 90 mph. Like the LN in 1976, the Visa was a result of the partnership between Citroën and Peugeot.
General Motors launched the Vauxhall Cavalier Mk 2, available for the first time with front-wheel drive and as a hatchback. On its launch, it offered class-leading levels of fuel economy and performance which had previously been unthinkable for this sector of car. Sales began towards the end of September. This model was part of GM's family of compact "J-cars", along with the Ascona, the Australian Holden Camira, the Brazilian Chevrolet Monza, the Japanese Isuzu Aska, and the North American Chevrolet Cavalier, Pontiac Sunbird, Buick Skyhawk, Oldsmobile Firenza, and Cadillac Cimarron. In the UK, the new Cavalier was a huge success and challenged the supremacy of the Ford Cortina as the company car of choice. By 1982, Ford and Vauxhall had an effective two-horse race at the top of this sector on the British market, as sales of the Talbot Alpine (previously a Chrysler until Peugeot took over the European operations of Chrysler) had tailed off by 1981, while British Leyland was winding down production of the Austin Ambassador hatchback and Morris Ital saloon and estate in preparation for the launch of all-new car (which would be sold as the Austin Montego) by 1984. Cavalier sales topped 100,000 in 1982, compared to less than 40,000 the previous year.
Vauxhall Cavalier Mk 2Show Article
Hannu Mikkola and Arne Hertz won the Lombard RAC Rally with an Audi Quattro. Mikkola's rally career spanned 31 years, starting with a Volvo PV544 in 1963, but his most successful period was during the 1970s and 1980s. The 1970s saw Mikkola a frontrunner in many international events, usually in a Ford Escort. He became the first overseas driver to win the East African Safari Rally in 1972, partnered by Gunnar Palm and again in a Ford Escort. In 1979 he made a serious challenge at the World Rally Championship title, ultimately finishing runner-up, only one point behind champion Björn Waldegård. Mikkola was joined by Swedish co-driver Arne Hertz in 1977 and the pair were very quickly a force to be reckoned with, winning the British Rally Championship in 1978 in an Escort. The Mikkola/Hertz partnership lasted for thirteen years, through to the end of the 1990 season. He was partnered by Johnny Johansson for the 1991 season. Mikkola was runner-up again in the 1980 season with Ford, but switched to the new Audi factory team for the 1981 season, to drive the revolutionary four wheel drive Audi Quattro. The partnership was successful from the outset: Mikkola led the 1981 Monte Carlo Rally, the Audi's first event, until an accident put him out of the event. He convincingly won the next WRC event, the Swedish Rally, but the Quattro had problems with reliability, and despite another win on the RAC Rally, Mikkola only managed third in the driver's championship. He won the 1000 Lakes and RAC rallies the following year, but did not improve on third position in the championship, ultimately finishing behind Opel's Walter Röhrl and teammate Michèle Mouton. 1983 was to be Mikkola's year. Four wins and three second places saw him and co-driver Arne Hertz finally take the World Championship title. A second place in the championship followed in 1984, behind his teammate Stig Blomqvist, but 1985 saw him compete in only four world rallies, with three retirements and a fourth place, and slip to 22nd in the final standings after the Audi team was overwhelmed by new Group B competition from Peugeot and Lancia. Mikkola remained with Audi until the 1987 season, winning the Safari Rally in a Group A Audi 200 that year, before switching to Mazda. He remained with Mazda until entering semi-retirement in 1991, although he continued to make sporadic appearances on international rallies until retiring completely from motorsport in 1993. Mikkola has made brief appearances since then, including re-uniting with his co-driver Gunnar Palm for the 25th anniversary run of the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally (Mikkola won the original 1970 event and the 1995 re-run) and competing in the London-Sydney Marathon 2000 Rally, re-united with his 1968 1000 Lakes Rally winning Ford Escort RS1600 and co-driven by his oldest son, Juha Mikkola, founder of Canada Cup (floorball). In September 2008, Mikkola took part in the Colin McRae Forest Stages Rally, a round of the Scottish Rally Championship. He was one of a number of former world champions to take part in the event in memory of McRae, who died in 2007. In 2011, Mikkola was inducted into the Rally Hall of Fame along with Röhrl
Hannu Mikkola and Arne Hertz - 1981 RAC RallyShow Article
Mark Thatcher, son of the then British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher along with his French co-driver, Anne-Charlotte Verney, and their mechanic went missing for six days in the Sahara Desert whilst driving a Peugeot 504 in the Dakar Rally. They were declared missing on January 12th and found unharmed three days later after a Lockheed L100 search plane from the Algerian military spotted their white Peugeot 504 some 30 miles off course.
Mark Thatcher with his French co-driver Anne-Charlotte Verney during the 1982 Paris to Dakar rally.Show Article
The Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 4WD rally car was launched on the same day as its two-wheel-drive road version.Show Article
The Peugeot 205 was launched. Shortly after, the similar sized Fiat Uno narrowly pipped it to the European Car of the Year award, but ultimately (according to the award organisers) it would enjoy a better image and a longer high market demand than its Italian competitor.
Peugeot 205Show Article
The Austin and MG Montego’s were showcased to the press in the South of France. It was initially available as a four-door saloon only, filling the gap in the range left by the discontinuation of the Morris Ital saloon two months earlier. However, it would be produced alongside the Ital estate until that model was axed in August 1984. The estate variant was launched at the British International Motor Show in October of that year. The 150 bhp (112 kW) MG turbocharged variant was released in early 1985 as the fastest production MG ever with a 0–60 mph time of 7.3 seconds, and a top speed of 126 mph (203 km/h). The Vanden Plas version, and featured leather seats, walnut veneer and features such as electric windows, central locking and power door mirrors. Like the Maestro, the Montego suffered from its overly long development phase, which had been begun in 1975 and which was hampered throughout by the industrial turmoil that plagued both British Leyland and Austin Rover Group during this period. The Ryder Report had recommended the costly modernization of both the Longbridge and Cowley factories, and since Longbridge was to come on stream first - the Austin Metro was put in production first, even though its design had been started after the Maestro/Montego. As a direct result of this delay, the two cars were now stylistically out of step, having been styled by several different designers - Ian Beech, David Bache, Roger Tucker and finally, Roy Axe, had all contributed to the Montego's styling. Arguably, both the Maestro and Montego had been compromised by the re-use of a single platform, doors and wheelbase to bridge two size classes - a mistake that BMC/BL had made before with the Austin 1800 and the Austin Maxi in the 1960s. Indeed, Roy Axe, when installed as Austin Rover's director of design in 1982 was so horrified by the design of the Maestro and Montego when he first viewed them in prototype form recommended that they be scrapped and the whole design exercise restarted. Like many BL cars before it, early Montegos suffered from build quality and reliability problems which badly damaged the car's reputation amongst the public. In some ways, the technology was ahead of its time, notably the solid-state instrumentation and engine management systems, but the "talking" dashboard fitted to high-end models (and initially used to promote the Montego as an advanced high-tech offering) was prone to irritating faults and came to be regarded as something of an embarrassment by BL and the British press. This feature was discontinued after a short period. There were also problems with the early sets of body-coloured bumpers which tended to crack in cold weather at the slightest impact. Development on the Montego continued. A replacement was proposed by Roy Axe in 1986, which would have been the existing Montego core structure clothed with new outer panels to mimic the design language set by the recently launched Rover 800-series, and would have been designated the Rover 400-series. This concept, designated AR16, would have also spawned a five-door hatchback version (designated AR17) to better compete with the Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier. The AR16/17 concepts were however abandoned due to lack of funds, and a facelift to the existing car (designated AR9) released in 1988 enhanced its appeal, which was buoyed up by both the Perkins-engined Diesel model, and the seven-seater version of the "Countryman" estate. The 2-litre turbodiesel (often known by its Perkins designation 'Prima') was a development of the O-Series petrol engine already used in the range. The diesel saloon won a CAR magazine 'giant test' against the Citroën BX (1.8 XUDT), the then new Peugeot 405 (1.8 XUDT) and Audi 80 (1.6) turbo diesels. They rated the 405 the best car, followed by the BX and then the Montego, with the Audi coming in last. "But if people buy diesels, and turbo diesel for their economy, the winner has to be the Montego. ...its engine is - even when roundly thrashed - more than 10% more economical than the rest. For those isolated moments when cost control is not of the essence, the Montego is a car you can enjoy too. The steering and driving position are quite excellent. ...the suspension as 'impressively refined'. It is silent over rough bumps, poised and well damped." The turbo diesel became a favourite of the RAF for officer transport. Car Mechanics Magazine ran an RAF officer transport de-mobbed Montego bought from a Ministry of Defence auction in 1996.The facelift also saw the phasing out of the Austin name. These late-1980s models had a badge resembling the Rover Viking longship, but it was not identical, nor did the word "Rover" ever appear on the cars.Though the car failed to match its rivals, such as the Volkswagen Passat, the car sold well[clarification needed] to the likes of the Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier. By the early 1990s, the Montego was terminally aged, and production effectively ceased when the replacement car, the Rover 600, was launched in 1993 (special fleet orders were hand-built until 1994, while estates continued until 1995). In its final year, What Car? magazine said "Austin Rover's once 'great white hope', Montego matured into a very decent car — but nobody noticed". The chassis development for the Montego and Maestro's rear suspension was used as a basis for later Rover cars, and was well regarded. Montegos continued to be built in small numbers in CKD form at the Cowley plant in Oxford until 1994, when production finally ended. The last car was signed by all those that worked on it, and is now on display at the British Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire. A total of 546,000 Austin/Rover Montegos and 23,000 MG Montegos were produced, with Britain by far being the biggest market for the car. In all, 436,000 Montegos were sold in the UK between 1984 and 1995. In August 2006, a survey by Auto Express revealed that the Montego was Britain's eighth-most scrapped car, with just 8,988 still in working order. Contributing to this, areas of the bodywork that were to be covered by plastic trim (such as the front and rear bumpers) were left unpainted and thus unprotected. In addition, pre-1989 models fitted with the A and S-series engines cannot run on unleaded petrol without the cylinder head being converted or needing fuel additives. This led to many owners simply scrapping the cars, as leaded petrol was removed from sale in Britain after 1999, and by 2003 most petrol stations had stopped selling LRP (lead replacement petrol) due to the falling demand for it. The Austin Montego, like many other Austin Rover cars at the time, offered a high luxury model. Sold opposite the MG, the Montego Vanden Plas was the luxury alternative. The Vanden Plas featured leather seats and door cards (velour in the estate version), powered windows, mirrors, door locks and sunroof. Alloy wheels were offered and later became standard on all cars. An automatic gearbox was also offered. It was available in both saloon and estate bodystyles. All Vanden Plas Montegos were 2.0 litres, either EFi (electronic fuel injection) or standard carburettor engines.
MG MontegoShow Article
Ari Vatanen and Terry Harryman won the RAC Rally with a Peugeot 205 T16.Show Article
Production of the Peugeot 309 began at the Ryton car factory near Coventry. A small family hatchback, the 309 was the first "foreign" car to be built in the UK. It was originally going to be badged as the Talbot Arizona, but Peugeot decided that the Talbot badge would be discontinued on passenger cars in 1986 and that the Ryton plant would then be used for the production of its own products, including a larger four-door saloon (similar in size to the Ford Sierra) which was due in two years.Show Article
The French government ruled against the privatisation of leading French carmaker Renault. The privatisation of Renault, France's second largest carmaker to PSA Peugeot, has remained a highly debated issue since the 1986 decision. In 1994, the government sold shares of Renault to the public for the first time at 165 francs per share. The sale dramatically increased the company's revenue, but the French government remained the majority shareholder. Between 1996 and 1997, the market for cars in Europe grew precipitously, with the most marked increases in France. Renault, often scorned for its "public sector" policies, failed to capitalise on the growing markets. Instead foreign competitors like Volkswagen and Fiat took advantage. In 1996, Renault lost over $800 million. Renault and Peugeot were the two weakest of Europe's Big Seven carmakers. Economists blame the French carmakers lack of success on its protectionist policies, and more specifically on the unwillingness of PSA Peugeot and Renault to merge, a manoeuvre that would radically lower production costs for both auto-making giants. The question remains whether or not the government will fully privatise Renault. With economic boundaries in Europe falling rapidly, the days of France's nationally run car company may be numbered.Show Article
The Mercedes 500E (W124) was formally presented at the Paris Motor Show. Assembled by Porsche, the limousine delivered some 326 hp with a 5.0 litre four-valve, V8 engine. The Renault Clio was also introduced at the show and went on sale in France soon after, although it was not available in the rest of Europe until March 1991. Also unveiled was the Peugeot 206 and the Citroen Visa GTI.
Mercedes 500E interiorShow Article
Max Mosley, Bernie Ecclestone, and the rest of the FIA's Sportscar Commission met in a hotel at Heathrow Airport in London, England. When the meeting ended, the Sportscar World Championship was terminated. Later, lobbying by Peugeot kept it active for one more year.Show Article
The Citroen Xantia made its market debut. The Xantia replaced the earlier Citroën BX (which straddled both small and large family car segments), and maintained the high level of popularity of that model, but brought the car more into the mainstream to compete harder with its rivals, such as the Ford Mondeo, Nissan Primera, Rover 600, Toyota Carina E and Opel Vectra/Vauxhall Cavalier. The car was built from November 1992 to October 2002 in France, totalling almost ten years, including the facelift in December 1997. It signalled that Citroën had learned from the reception given to the staid Citroën ZX, introduced two years earlier, and criticised by contemporary journalists for its lack of traditional Citroën flair, in engineering and design. Citroën addressed these concerns in the Xantia. The Xantia also used the traditional Citroën hydropneumatic suspension system, which was pioneered by the older DS. It was initially only available as a hatchback (notchback) (Berline), but an estate (station wagon) (Break) version, built by Heuliez, appeared in September 1995. Inline with PSA Group policy, the Peugeot 406, launched two years later, used the same floorpan, core structure and engines as the Xantia. The Hydractive suspension system was not carried over, and the 406 utilised a more traditional spring suspension. Sales in the United Kingdom were strong, and even though it was never able to match the volume of British favourites, such as the Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Vectra, the car did help Citroën establish a strong foothold in the business car market in the United Kingdom. Citroën sold over 1.2 million Xantias during its 9 years of production. Furthermore, in January 2001, when production ended, Iran's SAIPA produced it.
Citroen XantiaShow Article
British racing drivers Derek Warwick and Mark Blundell, helped by Yannick Dalmas won Le Mans 24 hour race ina Peugeot 905, at an average speed of 123.9 mph. The Peugeot led the gruelling 2,974 mile from the second hour.
Peugeot 905Show Article
Gregg Hansford (44), Australian motorcycle and touring car racer died while competing in a Supertouring race in 1995 at Phillip Island. Hansford's Ford Mondeo slid off the track and hit a tyre wall at high speed. The car bounced back onto the track where he was hit by Mark Adderton's Peugeot 405 at over 200 km/h. Hansford died moments after the impact.
Gregg HansfordShow Article
The Rover 400 was officially launched, and was met with a sense of muted antipathy from the press. It was clear to even the most casual observer that this car was almost pure Honda in its design – in fact, to more seasoned observers, the changes that Rover had made were disappointing in their ineffectiveness. In a nutshell, the new mid-sized Rover appeared to be almost as much a Honda (as opposed to a British car) as the original joint-venture – the Triumph Acclaim – had been back in 1981. Many questions were soon asked of Rover: Why such a disappointing design? Had it not been for BMW, would this have been the shape of Rovers in the future? Rear view was more appealing than the frontal aspect, but somehow the proportions seemed slightly wrong – the cause probably being attributable to the long nose and short, truncated tail. The saloon version, which appeared early in 1996, addressed this issue admirably – and proved to be one of a very rare breed of cars: a well-balanced notch-from-hatch conversion.Rear view was more appealing than the frontal aspect, but somehow the proportions seemed slightly wrong – the cause probably being attributable to the long nose and short, truncated tail. The saloon version, which appeared early in 1996, addressed this issue admirably – and proved to be one of a very rare breed of cars: a well-balanced notch-from-hatch conversion. Rear view was more appealing than the frontal aspect, but somehow the proportions seemed slightly wrong – the cause probably being attributable to the long nose and short, truncated tail. The saloon version, which appeared early in 1996, addressed this issue admirably – and proved to be one of a very rare breed of cars: a well-balanced notch-from-hatch conversion. As it was, there was a lot to applaud the Rover 400 for, though: the car marked the first application for the new, enlarged version of the K-series engine – now cleverly expanded to 1589cc. Refinement and performance of this new version was certainly up to scratch, and like its smaller brother, it proved to be more than a match for its Honda counterpart. This change in engine policy meant that in terms of petrol powered units, the range was now powered entirely by British engines (1.6-litre automatic, aside), whilst the diesel versions were now L-series powered (as opposed to Peugeot XUD-powered). The 400 range offered a wide variety of power options – 1.4-litres through to the 2.0-litre T-series engine – and even though the entry-level model was somewhat smaller than its rivals, Rover countered the lack of cubic capacity with a high specific output. Although the 136bhp version of the T-series engine found a natural home in the Rover 400, it was the 2.0-litre version of the KV6 engine (codename Merlin) that really excited the company. Producing a healthy 150bhp, the KV6 was under development and running in Rover 400 “mules” even before the car was launched – but it would not be until the arrival of the facelifted Rover 45 model in 1999 that a V6-powered Rover midliner entered the sales catalogue. Be that as it may, the highlight of the K-series was somewhat overshadowed by the rest of the car. The people that mattered – the customers – found the Rover 400 somewhat disappointing and overpriced. If the premium pricing policy seemed like a winner with the classy and compact R8, its replacement certainly did not appear to have the looks to justify the continuation of this policy. Of course, Rover countered this allegation by telling everyone to wait for the saloon version, due in early 1996, but it did not ease the fact that the new 400 hatchback was not what the public wanted at the time, and was certainly not offered at a favourable price. Autocar magazine was reasonably pleased with the 416i and reported so in their road test. The verdict was lukewarm – and they gave the car qualified approval: “with looks that will be routinely mistaken for Honda’s new five-door Civic, this latest 400 needed to be convincingly different beneath the badge. This it achieves by a whisker. With that sweet spinning, characterful K-series engine and an outstanding urban ride quality, Rover has created a car that feels genuinely unique, not just a cynical badge engineered Honda. Sure, Peugeot’s 306 still has the dynamic measure of this car, but compared with the dull homogeneity of the competition from Ford and Vauxhall, the 416i offers up just enough “typically Rover” character, just enough specialness to raise it above the common horde. But only just.” At least Autocar were realistic in their choice of rivals for this car, plucking them from the small/medium arena. In Rover’s launch advertising for the 400, they pitched it against such luminaries as the Ford Mondeo, Renault Laguna and Citroën Xantia. Interestingly, it compared very well to all-comers in this class on the handpicked “ride quality” index figure. All but the Citroën, that is. Profile shot of the 400 saloon shows that classy-looking saloons can be sired from hatchbacks – maybe the public's perception of the Rover 400 range would be remarkably different had this version been launched first.Profile shot of the 400 saloon shows that classy-looking saloons can be sired from hatchbacks – maybe the public's perception of the Rover 400 range would be remarkably different had this version been launched first. Sales of the Rover 400 in the UK were buoyant, and in direct comparison with the combined sales of the outgoing R8 400 and Montego, they appeared to be quite good. But the comparison is certainly muddied by the fact that the 400 was designed to fight in the “D class” rather than the upper end of the “C class”, as marketeers liked to refer to the differing market sectors. So in the heart of the UK market, where Ford and Vauxhall continued to make hay, Rover continued to appear almost mortally weak. In the first full year of sales, the 400, including the stylish saloon version, grabbed 3.15 per cent of the market – and although Rover continued to make noises about not chasing volume sales, the cold hard facts were that after allowing for Honda’s royalty payments on each 400 sold, profit margins were not huge. Export sales continued to make reasonable headway, so even though sales in the home market were suffering, Rover’s production volumes remained at a reasonable level – no doubt helped by the BMW connection. However, exports are affected by the fluctuations of the currency markets, and as we shall see, Rover and BMW would suffer terribly from these in later years. In 1997 and 1998, the Rover 400 captured 2.85 and 2.55 per cent of the UK market respectively, maintaining a regular top ten presence. By the following year, however, this had collapsed disastrously to 1.51 per cent. What had caused this collapse? Well, the product had never captured the public’s imagination in the way that the R8 had, but also, following the change in government (May 1997) and the strengthening of sterling against European currencies, the price of imported cars had become so much cheaper in relation to that of the domestically produced Rover. This allowed companies such as Renault (with the Megane) and Volkswagen (with the Golf) to make serious inroads into the Rover’s market. What made the situation even worse for Rover was the flipside: the price of UK cars became more expensive in export markets, so in order to remain price competitive, Rover needed to drop their prices to such an extent that they began to make serious losses. By 1999, BMW had begun to take emergency measures for Rover – and the first of those, was the replacement of the 400 by the 45 in December 1999.
Rover 400Show Article
The Citroën Saxo was unveiled to the press prior to its launch in February 1996. It shared many engine and body parts with the Peugeot 106 (which itself was a development of the Citroën AX), the major difference being interiors and body panels. Production ended in 2003, when it was replaced with the Citroën C2.
Citroen Saxo car brochure - 1996Show Article
The third generation Rover 200 (R3) was launched. It was initially popular, being Britain's seventh-best-selling new car in 1996 through to 1998. The Rover 200, codenamed R3, was smaller than the Honda-based R8 cars. This was due to Rover's need to replace the ageing Metro, which by now was 15 years old. Although some elements of the previous 200 / 400 were carried over (most notably the front structure, heater, steering and front suspension), it was by-and-large an all-new car that had been developed by Rover. Honda did provide early body design support as a result of moving production of the Honda Concerto from Longbridge to Swindon, freeing up capacity for 60,000 units at Rover. At this point, the car had a cut-down version of the previous car's rear floor and suspension and was codenamed SK3. Lack of boot space and other factors led to Rover re-engineering the rear end to take a modified form of the Maestro rear suspension and the product was renamed R3. By the time the car was launched, Honda and Rover had already been "divorced" after the BMW takeover the previous year. The new 200 used K-Series petrol engines, most notably the 1.8 L VVC version from the MGF, and L-series diesel engine. During the mid 1990s the L-Series was a very competitive engine, regarded as second only to the VW TDI in overall performance, and an improvement over the R8s XUD, particularly in fuel economy while almost matching it for refinement. Launched with 1.4i 16v (105 PS (77 kW; 104 bhp)) and 1.6i 16v (111 PS (82 kW; 109 bhp)) petrol engines and 2.0 turbodiesel (86 PS (63 kW; 85 bhp) and intercooled 105 PS (77 kW; 104 bhp) versions) engines, the range grew later to include a 1.1i (60 PS (44 kW; 59 bhp)) and 1.4i 8v (75 PS (55 kW; 74 bhp)) engines and also 1.8 16v units in standard (120 PS (88 kW; 118 bhp)) and variable valve formats (145 PS (107 kW; 143 bhp)). R65 Peugeot/Rover Manual gearboxes carried over from the R8 Rover 200 were available across the range and a CVT option was available on the 1.6i 16v unit. The R3 featured a completely re-designed interior and dashboard to accommodate the fitment of a passenger airbag in line with new safety standards. The 1.8-litre models earned a certain amount of praise for their performance, whilst the intercooled turbo diesel was claimed as one of the fastest-accelerating diesel hatchbacks on the market in the late 1990s. Unlike its predecessor, the R3 was not available in Coupe, Cabriolet or Tourer bodystyles, although Rover updated these versions of the older model with mild styling revisions and the fitting of the new dashboard from the R3, which was possible due to the shared front bulkhead. In the UK, these models were no longer branded as 200/400 models, simply being referred to as the Rover Coupe, Cabriolet and Tourer. The Rover 200 might have been marketed as a supermini, it compares closely in size and engine range with contemporary models such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa. Instead Rover priced the car to compete with vehicles like the Ford Escort and Vauxhall Astra. Rover's only offering in the supermini segment at the time was the ageing Metro and this gap in the company's line-up needed to be filled. The third generation 200 was initially popular, being Britain's seventh-best-selling new car in 1996 through to 1998. Within three years it had fallen out of the top 10 completely and was being outsold by traditionally poorer selling cars like the Volkswagen Polo Mk3 and the Peugeot 206.
Rover 200 (R3)Show Article
Coupes dominated the first day of the 1996 Paris Motor Show when Kylie Minogue kicked the day off releasing the new Ford SportsKa. Peugeot released the 307 CC concept car - a genuine coupe and cabriolet with seating for four adults - and Citroen unveiled the Pluriel, a car which could be transformed quickly into five different body styles.Show Article
Jacques Calvet and Alain Prost, owner of the Prost Grand Prix stable, signed a partnership deal for the Formula 1 World Championships from 1998 onwards. Peugeot agreed to supply V10 engines for three years.Show Article
Jean-Martin Folz unveiled the new organization of the PSA Peugeot Citroën group, illustrated by the slogan "two marques, one group".Show Article
PSA Peugeot Citröen rolled out the 5000th electric car, a white Citroën Saxo, produced at the Heuliez assembly plant in Cerizay, France.Show Article
The decision to make Toyota Aygo was made when the presidents of Toyota and PSA Group, Fujio Cho and Jean-Martin Folz respectively, decided to produce a small car to share development costs. The Peugeot 107 and Citroën C1 were rebadged versions of the same car.
Toyota AygoShow Article
Red-faced council bosses apologised to a motorist after contractors winched his legally parked car off the ground to paint double yellow lines under it - and then issued him with a parking fine. Philip Peters, from Queen's Park in West London, initially thought he had been the victim of a practical joke when he returned to find a £30 penalty ticket on his Peugeot 406. Mr Peters, who had parked his car in the same spot outside his shop for 20 years, refused to pay the £30 penalty. Westminster council revoked the fine and apologised for the mistake.Show Article
The first generation Citroen C3 was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. When l it appeared in car show rooms in 2002 it was available with 1.1, 1.4 and 1.6 litre petrol engines, and 1.4 and 1.6 litre common rail diesel engines. In accordance with the PSA Group policy, the C3's chassis was used for the Peugeot 1007 and the Peugeot 207. Many components of the C3 are the same as those of the Peugeot 206.
Citroen C3Show Article
Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen won Great Britain Rally with a Peugeot 206 WRC.Show Article
The Frankfurt Motor Show, opened it’s doors, with the simultaneous launch of the 5th generation of VW Golf and Opel Astra. Ford unveiled the first production models based on next year’s new Focus platform – the Mazda 3 and new Volvo S40 sedan. The 2003 Show was also a significant event for BMW, with the debut of the new 5-Series saloon and 6-Series coupe, while the X5 was updated for 2004 and joined by the smaller, all-new X3. Mercedes showed the production version of the SLR McLaren; Jaguar the X-Type Estate and Maserati returned to the luxury saloon fold with the premiere of the new Quattroporte. Leading the concept car debuts from Europe were the Citroen C-Airlounge, Renault Be-Bop, Peugeot 407 Elixir, SEAT Altea, and Saab 9-3 Sporthatch, together with surprises from Lancia with the Fulvia Coupe concept and Skoda with the Roomster. Japanese makers were also strongly featured with concepts such as the Toyota CS&S, Nissan Dunehawk, Mazda Kusabi, Mitsubishi ‘i’, and Suzuki S2.
VW Golf (5th generation)Show Article
The City Rover entered into production. It was a rebadged Tata Indica made in Pune, India. The CityRover was offered with only one engine: a Peugeot derived 1,405 cc (1.4 L) 4-cylinder, 8 valve engine producing 85 bhp and could accelerate to 60 mph in 11.9 seconds and had a top speed of 100 mph (160.9 km/h). Alterations for the British market included new bumpers, Rover badge grille, 14" wheels and new suspension settings.
City Rover - 2003Show Article
The Citroen C2 was officially launched in the UK. It replaced the Citroën Saxo, and was built at the Aulnay plant, on the outskirts of Paris. A different design of the C2, based on that of the Peugeot 206, was sold in China. The Citroën C2 was discontinued in October 2009, and replaced by the Citroën DS3 in January 2010.
Citroen C2Show Article
The Paris Mondial de l’Automobile (Paris Motor Show) opened its doors to the press and featured a wealth of new concept and production cars. There were a number of major releases from Ford, BMW and Mercedes and, naturally, the French makers Peugeot, Citroën and Renault featured strongly as well. World debuts included the Alfa 147, Aston Martin DBR9, Audi A4, BMW 1 Series, BMW M5, Citroën C4, Ferrari F430, Ford Focus, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Sportage, Mazda 5, Mercedes A-Class, Mitsubishi Colt CZ3, Opel Astra GTC, Peugeot 1007, Porsche Boxster, Renault Mégane Trophy, Škoda Octavia Estate, Suzuki Swift and Toyota Prius GT.
BMW 1-SeriesShow Article
The Citroen C4 range went on sale in the UK. It was designed to be the successor to the Citroën Xsara and was mechanically similar to the Peugeot 308, which was launched in 2007.Show Article
The Citroen C4 range went on sale in the UK. It was designed to be the successor to the Citroën Xsara and was mechanically similar to the Peugeot 308, which was launched in 2007.
Citroen C4Show Article
A dozen Peugeot 203 vehicles (together with other Peugeot models - 204, 403, 404) set off in the "Peugeot 2006 Round Australia Rerun". The event was organised by Graham Wallis of the Peugeot Car Club of Victoria to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Ampol Round Australia Trial. It was won by Wilf Murrell and Allan Taylor in a Peugeot 403 sedan after covering 12,000 miles of rugged Australian roads and tracks.Show Article
The last appearance of the name Rootes was at a garage, still extant in Maidstone, which bore the name. On this day, in line with the other 40 dealerships within its business group, the name was changed from Rootes Maidstone, to Robins & Day Maidstone. Robins & Day is wholly owned and operated by Peugeot UK, as opposed to other Peugeot dealers that are operated like many car dealerships, on a franchise basis.Show Article
Ryton manufacturing plant located in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Warwickshire, England produced its last car, a Peugeot 206. After the war Ryton became the headquarters of the Rootes Group, but when the organisation entered financial difficulties in the 1960s the company (in stages) and thus the plant were taken over by American car-making giant Chrysler. Chrysler itself entered financial difficulties and sold the plant, along with the rest of its European operations for a symbolic US$1.00 to PSA Peugeot Citroën in 1978. The 140-acre site was sold to developer Trenport Investments Ltd for industrial use in March 2007 and was demolished in November 2007.
Ryton manufacturing plantShow Article
The fastest lap in the Le Mans 24-hour race of 3 min 19.074 sec, was achieved by Loïc Duval (France), driving a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP.
Peugeot 908 HDi FAP - #4 Matmut. DNF, Le Mans 24 Hours 2010Show Article