#7054 De Dion-Bouton et Trépardoux Steam Quadricycle (1887) Louwman Museum
De Dion-Bouton et Trépardoux Steam Quadricycle (1887) at the Louwman Museum in The Hague (Holland)
With its steam boiler located at the front and connecting rods to the rear wheels, it resembles a tank locomotive but is nevertheless one of the first usable, and therefore successful, applications of a steam engine in a small motorcar. The twin-cylinder compound engine installed under the floor could be operated by one man, eliminating the need for an additional stoker. The water tank was located underneath the seats and the coal bunker surrounded the boiler. The vehicle could get up steam within 50 minutes and could reach a top speed of approximately 60 km/h (about 37 mph). The company De Dion, Bouton et Trépardoux was one of the first car manufacturers in France. It was established in 1880 outside Paris by the brothers-in-law Georges Bouton and Charles Trépardoux, initially to make toy steam engines. Their sophisticated craftsmanship caught the attention of the count Albert de Dion, who proceeded to finance the production of steam-driven vehicles. In 1889, when De Dion attended the Paris Exhibition, he saw a petrol engine for the first time. He immediately recognised its potential and went on to develop one himself. Trépardoux however, wanted to carry on with steam and left in 1893.
The Louwman Museum in The Hague, the Netherlands, features one of the most impressive private car collections in the world. Several hundred cars are on show to teach you all about car history. The Louwman Museum offers a wide collection that includes everything from antique and classic cars to Formula 1 racing cars and hybrids. Since 1934, two generations of the Louwman family have assembled a unique collection of cars. The present Louwman Museum was designed to display the collection to the public. It was festively opened in 2010. The collection leads you from horse and wagon to the first self-propelled vehicles. It also takes you past the luxury cars from the end of the 19th century, post-war "affordable cars" and the first racing cars. Some of the Louwman Museum's highlights include unique specimens such as the boat-car, the beach-car and the swan-car as well as famous cars such as James Bond's Aston Martin from the film Goldfinger and the customised Cadillac Fleetwood of Elvis Presley.