De Dion-Bouton was a French automobile, railcar, and tricycle manufacturer. The company was in operation from 1883 to 1932, and was founded by Marquis Jules-Albert de Dion, and Georges Bouton. The company was based in Passage de Leon, Paris, and began manufacturing steam engine cars in 1883. During that era, De Dion-Bouton was the world’s largest automobile manufacturer. Their vehicles were known for their high quality, durability, and reliability.
In 1896, the company produced their first tricycle. They continued producing tricycles for several years, but their main business was always automobiles.
World War I caused the company to struggle financially, and the Great Depression brought on more of a decline in sales. The De Dion-Bouton company produced their last automobile in 1932.
Both the world’s oldest running automobile and the oldest running motorcycle in North America are made by De Dion-Bouton. The world’s oldest running automobile is an 1884 De Dion-Bouton Et Trapardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout, which sold for $4.62 million in October 2011. The oldest running motorcycle in North America is an 1897 De-Dion Bouton tricycle, and we are proud to have it on permanent display at Motorcyclepedia in our Circa gallery.