Robb Design Portfolio: French Revolution

  • Gregory Anderson

At a time when most automobile engines were simple 1- or 2-cylinder affairs, French manufacturer de Dion-Bouton debuted a 4-cylinder motor for factory racing—as well as the world’s first independent rear suspension. With a top speed near 40 mph, the racer sporting this engine "was like a Ferrari—much faster than the roads would allow," says Chris Kidd of Tired Iron Works, the Monrovia, Calif., shop responsible for restoring the 1904 de Dion-Bouton pictured here. Beyond its precocious motor, this car holds a special appeal for collectors: It is eligible to participate in the world’s longest-running motoring event, the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. This annual gathering commemorates the Emancipation Run of 1896, a celebration of the passage of the Locomotives on Highways Act, which raised the speed limit in Great Britain for "light locomotives" from 4 mph to 14 mph. Participation is open to vehicles built before January 1, 1905; this, says Kidd, "is why 1904 cars are always worth more than 1905s."

Read Next Article >>
Photo by UWE@FISCHER
The new “sport activity coupe,” as BMW calls it, drives with a nimbleness that defies its size…
Photo by Richard Prince
Chevy’s new supercar aims to redefine the American muscle car…
Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLc are soaring at auction...
The nearly 1,000 cc motorcycles draw inspiration from Yamaha’s seven-figure MotoGP race bike…
In both design and performance, the new S-Class Coupes branch out from Mercedes’s historically...
The sedan is set to compete with the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A3…
Photo by Daylight Studio Snc
A century of quintessentially Italian carmaking and motorsports…
The four new models combine retro styling with modern technology…
The H2R has an approximately 300 hp engine, the most powerful on the market...
Sitting behind the wheel of this $280,225 top-down roadster incites a flurry of emotions…