Sold for $44,000 at 2008 Gooding & Company. Sold for $74,250 at 2015 RM Sothebys. Peugeot was founded in 1810 as a manufacturer for mills and bicycles, thus it is the oldest company in the world producing cars. In 1904 Peugeot presented their first Bebe ('Baby') Type 69 as a very small and affordable one cylinder engined automobile. Nevertheless it came with such advanced details as rack-and-pinion steering and a driveshaft instead of a chain. Until 1912 the car was very well sold, then it was followed by the Type BP1 Bebe with an inline four-cylinder T-head engine (855cc, 10 hp).
Designed by Ettore Bugatti in 1911 - two years after the formation of the Bugatti Company in 1909-this early 'baby car' was first designated as the Bugatti Type 19. The design was later licensed to Peugeot in 1913 after the German Wanderer company had turned it down. Badged as a Peugeot it would become the largest-selling Bugatti-designed car; more than 3,000 units sold between 1912 and 1914. Its specifications became the inspiration for other European manufacturers to produce small cars. It has a small 855cc, water-cooled four-cylinder engine.
This 1914 Peugeot Bebe Two-Seat Roadster was purchased by Dr. Peter and Susan Williamson in 1975 from Richard Riegel in Wilmington, Delaware. It is painted in French Blue with beige leather upholstery and a black cloth top. The bright trim is nickel and the tires ride on four black-painted wire wheels. It has an older restoration which has held up rather well over the years.
In 2008, this Peugeot Bebe was brought to the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, CA. It was estimated to sell for $30,000 - $40,000 and offered without reserve. The lot was sold for $44,000, including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2012
The Peugeot Bèbè or Baby was produced from 1904 to 1916. The Bebe Type 69 was produced from 1904 through 1912 followed by the Type BP1 which remained in production until 1916.
In 1904, Peugeot displayed the Bebe at the Paris Motor Show. It was a modern automobile that was small, practical, and offered at a very low price. It weighed a mere 770 pounds and measured just 110-inches long. Power was from a single-cylinder, 652cc engine that carried this car to speed of about 25 mph.
The production of the car officially began in 1905 in Audincourt, and immediately the car proved popular. In its first year, over 400 examples were sold and it accounted for 80% of Peugeot's production. As the years rolled on, Peugeot introduced new technologies to the car, such as rack-and-pinion steering and a driveshaft instead of a chain. Every effort was made to keep the car as inexpensive as possible and to appeal to a very wide audience.
Early in the 1900s, Ettore Bugatti established a facility for designing automobiles under contract. He worked with DeDdietrich, Mathis and Deutz, before establishing his own company in Molsheim, Alsace, in 1909. Production of Bugatti automobiles began in 1910.
In 1911, Bugatti designed a two-seat automobile powered by an 855cc engine. A prototype car was created and shown to large manufacturers in hopes of licensing the design. It was shown to the German car firm Wanderer, and later to Peugeot for the French market. Peugeot seized the opportunity and put it on display at the 1912 Paris Motor Show. Production began in early 1913 following the discontinuation of the Type 69. It would remain in production as the Type BP1 until 1916 and became the largest selling Bugatti-designed automobile. This small car inspired manufactures from Germany, France and England to create similar small, low-priced automobiles. To keep prices low, Peugeot fitted the car with a 2-speed gearbox initially, which was later replaced by their own 3-speed unit. The engine was a Peugeot straight-4 that produced a modest 10 horsepower. The 770 pound vehicle had a top speed of about 37 mph.
Wanderer built their own car but fitted it with a Bugatti four-speed transmission. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2009