1905 PEUGEOT TYPE 68 SWING-SEAT TONNEAU WITH CANOPY
Registration No. ZZ-07-06 (Holland)
Car No: 6492
Engine No: AK 6347
Blue with black mudguards and canopy, grey chassis and wheels.
Engine: Single cylinder, 883cc, with mechanically operated Gearbox: 3-speed and reverse; Suspension: semi-elliptic front and rear; Brakes: transmission and rear wheels.
It is hardly surprising that a company that has been involved with metal-working trades since Napoleonic times should, when it came to making motor cars, produce vehicles of high engineering quality. In at the beginning of the French motor industry along with Emile Levassor, Count De Dion and Léon Serpollet, Armand Peugeot pursued a different policy from these friendly rivals. Whilst Panhard-Levassor made expensive cars and De Dion Bouton inexpensive ones, Serpollet was wedded to steam power, Peugeot built a range of models. In 1905, for example, it was possible to buy a Bébé Peugeot with a 650cc single-cylinder engine for £175; or at the other extreme a 6.3-litre engined four-cylinder car at about £1000, with various other models in between, all priced according to their size.
For the buyer of modest means if the Bébé was too small an extra £55 would purchase a type 68, which came with a four-seater body as standard. It was powered by a single-cylinder engine of 105 x 102 mm bore and stroke (oversquare engines are nothing new) and with the benefit of a mechanically-operated inlet valve, produced 8 fairly- energetic horsepower. These were transmitted through a cone clutch to a side-lever operated gearbox and then by shaft to a bevel-drive back axle. Stopping was looked after by a foot-operated transmission brake, the handbrake working on drums to the rear wheels. The chassis was a mixture of the old and the new, in that it was made of wood and steel, and was thus light but strong: yet the springs were damped by friction shock-absorbers, a feature that most other makers neglected to fit at this time.
The body work was made in Peugeot's Audincourt factory, along with the rest of the car, and was either a phaeton or, as in this case, a swing- seat tonneau. The front passenger seat can be unlatched, swung out and forward and via the specially shaped rear mudguard that has built-in steps, easy access to the rear seats may be gained. The passenger area is covered by a full length canopy that doubles as a luggage rack.
The car was rallied extensively in the 1960s and 1970s but has not been used for some time. However, it is well presented and from inspection it does not seem that it would require much effort to put it back into running order.