1924 De-Dion Bouton 12/24hp Drophead Coupé

1924 De-Dion Bouton 12/24hp Drophead Coupé

Founded by Count Albert De Dion and engineer Georges Bouton, De Dion Bouton commenced motor manufacture with light steam carriages in the 1880s and enjoyed huge success with their single-cylinder, relatively high-revving internal combustion engines around the turn of the Century. By the end of the Edwardian era the company was producing a splendid range of multi-cylinder, internal combustion engined cars. Returning to civilian motor manufacture after The Great War, De Dion entered a period of relative decline, unable to compete with mass-producers Renault and Citroën at one end of the market and the likes of Hispano-Suiza at the other. Passenger car production ended in 1932, De Dion concentrating on the production of commercial vehicles thereafter.

The car presented here is an example of the four-cylinder, sidevalve engined 12/24hp model, six versions of which were listed by the British concessionaires in 1923. Four-wheel braking was an extra cost option for which 'an entire absence of skidding even on the worst of greasy roads' was claimed. First registered in Dublin, this delightful car formerly belonged to a member of the Dublin City municipal authorities. It is believed to have been part of an order for several De Dion road cleaning trucks that were operated by Franco Irish enterprises, which held the contract for street cleaning in Dublin at that time. In 1961 the De Dion was purchased in Killiney, County Dublin by a Mr Young, who kept the car in original condition for many years. When his estate was being sold, Nicholas Bailey purchased the De Dion, part of the deal being to clear the garage and leave it clean and tidy.

Re-commissioned and made roadworthy again, the De Dion then passed to David Swail of Wicklow, who carried out major works during the 1990s to bring the car to the fine standard it is today. David rallied the car, mostly in Ireland, taking part in several Gordon Bennett events and other equally challenging rallies without any problems, the De Dion proving to be always reliable. Having been stored for a few years, the car has been serviced and road tested. It is described as smooth and with a sweet sounding engine, happily cruising at 40mph (65km/h) while being capable of 50mph (80km/h) if required.

Descriptions & pictures by bonhams & flickr & wikimedia & en.wheelsage

Production Start 1924
Country of origin France