Saturday, January 11, 2014

The 1906 Lion-Peugeot Voiturette "VA"

In 1865 Armand Peugeot and his cousin Eugene took over the Peugeot family business - metal working. They gradually moved into cycle manufacturing in 1882 and later to the fledgling business of automobiles. Armand wished to devote the business entirely to the production of automobiles, but Eugene disagreed and the cousins split the enterprise into two separate businesses with Eugene calling his metal-working end "Lion-Peugeot". During the early 1900s he decided to venture into automobile making anyway and at a factory near Valentigney he began to build their first model...The Peugeot Voiturette "VA".

This small runabout automobile was built on a carriage for two. It was a simple and effecient design and was priced competitively with other voiturettes of the era. About 1,000 VA models were produced between 1906-1908 and these stellar sales - along with the fact that Armand had no "heir" to give his side of the business too - the cousins decided to merge together once again. In 1910 they shook hands and joined together and by the time Armand stepped down from the company in 1913 they had become the largest car manufacturer in France.

This jaunty little ride could reach a speed of 22 mph on its single cylinder four-stroke engine. It was rear-wheel driven and had a maximum of 6-7 horse-power. The VA model was first unveiled at the Paris Auto Show of 1905 but it was not available for purchase until 1906 and stayed in production only until 1908 when the desire for more powerful horsepower propelled the company to discontinue this model.