1901 DeDion Bouton Vis-a-Vis Motorette
• Known provenance from new
• Ex-Percy Stevens. Dr. Arnold Fisher, and Ben Moser
• Rare Brooklyn assembled example
• Incredible preserved condition
By the turn of the 20th century, the automobile industry was beginning to really take off. Similar to the modern day computer and internet, many entrepreneurs began to turn their focus to the lucrative automobile market and the great potential it had. European manufacturers noticed that the American market was one that had a large barrier because of the large sanctions on imported automobiles in the early 20th century, but at the same time, if they could figure out how to cost effectively enter this market it could have great potential to grow. With that being said, Americans already were very aware of European automobiles and their racing successes with their big powerful cars such as Mercedes, Panhard, Benz, and Renault even in this very primitive time for the automobile. A solution realized by DeDion was a licensing agreement to build an American equivalent of the European DeDion here in the United States. Some were imported and assembled here and others were apparently mostly entirely built here, but by 1901 DeDion became the largest manufacturer of the automobile in the world and one of the oldest since Count Albert DeDion had licensed Georges Bouton and Charles Trepardoux to build light steam carriages for him 20 years prior. In 1899 DeDion introduced a full line of tricycles, quadricycles, and then a full fledged small motorcar. They became successful in racing as well as in sales to the public and grew a reputation for being well built, fast and reliable. The DeDion Bouton is a very important part of automobile history.
Offered here is one of the best original DeDion Bouton Vis-a-Vis's that has provenance back to when it was new. A very seldom seen American DeDion, assembled in 1901 in Brooklyn, New York, it was sold new in 1901 to a Mr. Percy Stevens of Closter, New Jersey. He kept the car until the 1940's when it was sold to a well known early east coast collector; Dr. Arnold Fisher, also from New Jersey. It would remain with him until we picked the car up from him in the late 1980's for the great collector Mr. Ben Moser of California. Ben kept it in his house in California until his passing in 1992. It then passed to another collector Mr. Martin Button where it stayed for years. It's a wonderful car and it comes with many photos and even Percy Stevens hat that he was wearing in the period photograph driving the car. Mr. Moser was proud of this hat and had it sealed in a frame! Percy Stevens is also pictured sitting in the car later in the 1960's with Dr. Arnold Fisher Jr. The car still retains its original lamps and its original DeDion Brooklyn, New York rubber floor mat. This is the best one we have ever seen. It runs and drives wonderfully and is ready to be a centerpiece in an early car collection or it can be used for the London to Brighton veteran car run. A very incredibly preserved DeDion Motorette.