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Homepage. This page: A photo dating to the early 20th Century, showing a young chap stood with a vintage Delaunay-Belleville.

Delaunay-Belleville tourer.

In 2009 Chris emailed this old photo over - it shows his great Uncle, Will Petty, stood with a large Edwardian motor-car. He'd been told that it was a Spyker, but to me it looks much more like a Delaunay-Belleville, the barrel-shaped radiator being the clearest link to this French maker. If anyone can shed any more light on the model of Delaunay-Belleville shown here, by all means get in touch and I'll update this page accordingly.
An Edwardian Delaunay-Belleville car
This post-veteran car was registered LN 509, a London series used from November 1906 to March 1908, suggesting that the car shown above was most likely a 1906 or 1907 model. Being an expensive car of the day, Chris thinks that it probably didn't actually belong to his Uncle, and adds: ".. His sister was a lady's maid to a wealthy American socialite, Mrs Ronalds, who lived in Chelsea, so perhaps it belonged to her?". They were indeed a costly motorcar - for example, a 6.6 litre running chassis, minus coachwork, would have cost 740.
The Delaunay-Belleville was built in St. Denis sur Seine, in France. The first car was built in 1903, and exhibited the following year. SA des Automobiles Delaunay Belleville was formed in 1906 to handle production of this new motor-car. Most were powered by a straight six cylinder engine, although some did leave the factory with a four cylinder unit. The four cylinder cars were rated at either 16hp, 24hp or 40hp depending on the model. Over time the sixes ranged from a small 12hp unit, through to a 45hp engine of nearly 8 litres capacity. The early years saw the D-B favoured by the elite, with many Royal owners featuring within the sales records to add further lustre to the marque's reputation as an expensive, and high quality, conveyance. The shape of the radiator was inspired by the company's previous activity of building marine boilers.
The years prior to WW1 were the company's heyday, with the cars featuring some interesting technical details. All Delaunay-Belleville engines for instance had full-pressure lubrication, and in 1911 the option of compressed air-driven starter motors was offered, with electric starters becoming available in 1914.
By the late 1920s however the car's reputation, and hence its popularity, had faded, and the firm instead focused its attentions on commercial vehicle manufacture. Post-WW2 the factory was used to produce De Rovin microcars.
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