Peugeot Type 54 Two-Seater

It is well known that Peugeot built bicycles before embarking on motor manufacture, but it is easily forgotten that the firm’s heritage dates back to 1810 and hand saws. Begun near Belfort in eastern France, the company also made pepper mills, sewing machines and stays for ladies’ corsets before getting into the field of pedal-propelled two-wheel bicyclettes. Armand Peugeot experimented with the steam vehicles of Léon Serpollet, but in 1888 he met Gottlieb Daimler and Emile Levassor and was persuaded to take up petrol-engine vehicles instead. He completed a tubular-chassis four-wheeler in 1891 using a vee-twin Daimler-licenced Panhard et Levassor engine. His cars grew in size and in number; 40 were built in 1894 alone, and by 1899 he produced more than 300.

Peugeot’s own engines were introduced in 1896 as twin-cylinder horizontal units. In 1901, vertical engines followed, the later single-cylinder models called “Bébé,” and this term has been retroactively applied to earlier cars. Engines up to four cylinders were available from 1902. Engines were front-mounted, with shaft drive to a rear-axle-mounted differential, although chain drive persisted on some models to 1909.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2009 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

5 hp, 768 cc single-cylinder water-cooled engine, three-speed manual gearbox, solid front axle and live rear axle with full-elliptic leaf springs, and mechanical brake on differential. Wheelbase: 68.5"

Source: RM Auctions

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