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1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis Vis-A-Vis / 126 Vehicle Information

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis photograph

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis
Sold for $163,750 at 2010 FAIRFIELD COUNTY CONCOURS D'ELEGANCE, EXCEPTIONAL COLLECTORS' MOTORCARS AND AUTOMOBILIA.
Sold for $115,500 at 2014 RM Auctions - Amelia Island.
In 1900, De Dion, Bouton et Cie. had built steam cars, gasoline tricycles, and four-wheeled voiturettes. They had the unique distinction of being the largest engine manufacturer in the world, supplying power-plants to 140 manufacturers around the world. The four-wheel, four seat vis a vis (face-to-face) voiturette was very popular. Even America had taken notice, after a De Dion was demonstrated in Boston in 1898, and subsequently, Kenneth Skinner, of Boston, took up licensing De Dion patens in the United States.

There were several importers, but in 1900, a consortium of Americans, headed by Cornelius Field, took a license from Skinner and set up the De Dion-Bouton Motorette Company in Brooklyn, New York, with a salesroom on 66th Street in Manhattan. The company offered three models, including a Brooklyn Motorette with a single two-passenger seat, a New York Motorette with facing vis à vis seating, and a telephone-booth-like Brougham.

To boost confidence in the model and to further promote the vehicles, the De Dion went racing. They took prizes in hill climbs on Long Island, they raced with the Auto Club of New England at the Pan-American Exhibition at Buffalo, and one took 1st place in a September 1901 New York-to-Buffalo endurance test.

Unfortunately, the life of the Brooklyn-built De Dion was short. By mid-1902, Skinner had canceled the company's contract, citing violations of its conditions.

There were a few hundred De Dion-Bouton motorcars manufactured in Brooklyn, New York in 1900. These French engineered vehicles would have a significant influence on the emerging American motorcar industry. Even Louis Chevrolet was an employee of the Brooklyn-based De Dion Company. They were produced in three distinct models, with approximately five of these 3.5 horsepower Vis-a-Vis models still known to exist. These particular models were referred to as the New York Motorette.

This example is an original and un-restored vehicle that has had only four owners from new. For a quarter of a century this car was in the car of Ben Moser's collection.

This New York Type Motorette was discovered in the 1960s by the late California collector Ben Moser. It had been owned by a single family for at least half-a-century, before being purchased by Moser from the grandson of the long-time owner. When purchased, it was removed from a barn intact and virtually original, with only a few cosmetic touches made by the grandson. Moser went on to collect additional period-appropriate tools and memorabilia to go with the car.

Prior to Mr. Moser's death in 1992, the car was acquired by Jeremy Hass. The car was in good condition and quite complete, except for the fact that its leather seating was loose. The paint was largely original, and the engine ran well after a brief tune-up. Hass entered it for the 1992 London-to-Brighton Veteran Car Run in England. It made it most of the way; on the final hill, however, it stalled with engine trouble.

Mr. Hass had the engine and gearbox rebuilt after returning to the United States, and the differential gear was also changed to a more favorable ratio. In 1993, he sold the car, and it has had two owners in recent years.


By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2014



2014 RM Auctions - Amelia Island

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $140,000-USD $180,000 
Sale Price :
USD $115,500

2010 FAIRFIELD COUNTY CONCOURS D'ELEGANCE, EXCEPTIONAL COLLECTORS' MOTORCARS AND AUTOMOBILIA

Sale Price :
USD $163,750

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis Auction Sales

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1901 sales)
1901 De Dion Bouton Type G
Chassis#: 4978
Sold for USD$78,842
  2019 H & H Classics - Imperial War Museum, Duxford
 
1901 De Dion-Bouton 4½hp Motorette
Chassis#: 159
Sold for USD$90,190
  2019 Bonhams : Goodwood Members Meeting
1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis image  
1901 De Dion Bouton 5hp Motorette
Chassis#: 128
Sold for USD$162,400
  2019 Bonhams : Amelia Island
1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis image  1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis image  
1901 De Dion Bouton Type G vis-à-vis
Chassis#: 1389
Sold for USD$114,351
  2017 Artcurial : Retromobile
 
1901 De Dion-Bouton New York Type Motorette
Sold for USD$115,500
  2014 RM Auctions - Amelia Island
1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis image  1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis image  
1901 De Dion Bouton 5hp Motorette
Chassis#: 128
Sold for USD$191,400
  2013 Bonhams - Quail Lodge Auction
1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis image  1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis image  
1901 De Dion-Bouton 4 ½hp Motorette
Chassis#: 159
Sold for USD$110,400
  2012 Bonhams - Quail Lodge Sale
1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis image  
1901 De Dion Bouton 4 1/2hp Vis-à-vis
Sold for USD$159,114
  2011 Bonhams - RAF Museum, Hendon, Collectors' Motor Cars and Automobilia
 
1901 De Dion Bouton Motorette
Chassis#: 126
Sold for USD$163,750
  2010 FAIRFIELD COUNTY CONCOURS D'ELEGANCE, EXCEPTIONAL COLLECTORS' MOTORCARS AND AUTOMOBILIA
1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis image  1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis image  
1901 De Dion Bouton 3 1/2hp Voiturette
Chassis#: 1237
Sold for USD$73,056
  2009 Bonhams - Veteran Motor Cars and Related Automobilia
 
1901 De Dion Bouton 4 1/2hp Model G Vis-à-vis
Chassis#: 612
Sold for USD$92,171
  2009 Bonhams - The Ward Brothers' Reserve Collection
 
1901 De Dion Bouton 4½hp vis-à-vis Voiturette
Chassis#: 372
Sold for USD$60,900
  2008 Veteran Motor Cars and Related Automobilia
 
1901 De Dion Bouton 4 1/2hp Three Seater Voiturette
Chassis#: 3543
Sold for USD$72,616
  2003 Bonhams - Important Collectors' Motor Cars
 

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1901 De Dion Bouton Vis-A-Vis's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1901 De Dion Bouton 4½hp Vis-à-Vis60112013 Bonhams Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais $95,000$125,000
1901 De Dion Bouton 4½hp Type G2 Vis-à-Vis9642008 Veteran Motor Cars and Related Automobilia $55,000$65,000

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