1900 De Dion-Bouton Type E Vis-à-Vis Voiturette

De Dion-Bouton1900-01-01/1900-12-31

National Motor Museum, Australia

National Motor Museum, Australia
Birdwood, Australia

Front and left hand side view. The 1900 Model E Vis-à-Vis was built by French automobile and rail car manufacturer De Dion-Bouton. Founded by Marquis Jules Albert de Dion, George Bouton and Charles Trepardoux the De Dion-Bouton company was well known for their quality, reliability and durability. In 1900 it was the largest vehicle manufacturer in the world.
The name Vis-à-Vis Voiturette translates from French to “face to face carriage”. In an unusual design, the driver sits in the rear seat and the passenger sits opposite facing them. The engine is located under the seat and the vehicle is powered through the rear wheels by a two speed gearbox. The expanding clutches of the gearbox are operated by a lever on the steering column.
The Model E is one of the oldest cars in the country.
Engine: Single Cylinder
Capacity: 402 cc
Power: 3.75 hp


  • Title: 1900 De Dion-Bouton Type E Vis-à-Vis Voiturette
  • Creator: De Dion-Bouton
  • Date Created: 1900-01-01/1900-12-31
  • Location: Birdwood, South Australia
  • Provenance: While the original owner is unknown, millionaire American car enthusiast Mr H. Schick purchased it in 1953 from Marcel Ruton, an automobile dealer in Sevres, Paris. Schick later took it to the USA and restored the vehicle. In late 1965 Schick and George Gilltrap of the Gold Coast Auto Museum arranged for an exhange of the De Dion-Bouton for a vintage Rolls Royce. The De Dion-Bouton arrived to Australia in 1966. Further restorations were undertaken and it participated in a number of rallies, proving surprisingly reliable. When the Gold Coast Auto Museum closed the vehicle was sold in an auction in 1989 to Victorian resident, Julian Sterling. Once again, restorations were undertaken with some modifications that reflect traits of the Model G. In 2002 it was donated to the National Motor Museum as part of the Federal Government's Cultural Gifts program.
  • Rights: History Trust of South Australia, CC-0, photographer: Epsom Rd Studios

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