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.
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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.