- The French patent for the Voiturette was registered in 1895.
- The 1-cylinder air-cooled engine was located on the left side, behind the driver.
- A single rear wheel propelled the vehicle and ths front wheels were for steering.
Léon Bollée was born in 1870 in LeMans, France. His father, Amedée Bollée, was mechanically skilled and had built a steam car in 1873. Léon began to construct his own automobile using internal combustion instead of steam. The result was a tandem two-seater with a detachable front seat. As shown by the automobile exhibited here, Bollée’s 1-cylinder gasoline engine was air-cooled and located behind the driver to the left. The single driving wheel was in the rear and the two front wheels were for steering. French patent records indicate Bollée registered the final specifications for his voiturette in 1895.
Bollée entered one of his voiturettes in the 1897 Paris-Dieppe race, which covered a distance of 106 miles. Other entries included Panhard et Levassor, Peugeot, Mors, Delahaye, and De Dion-Bouton. Bollée’s driver, Jamin, not only won the race, but at an average of 25.2 mph posted the fastest race speed in history up to that time.
Léon Bollée continued to improve his vehicles successfully until 1933 when production ceased.