1921 Peugeot 3-Liter Racer
|Written by Sports Car Market|
|Wednesday, 30 June 1999 16:00|
Before the First World War it can be argued that the French firm Peugeot was more successful in motor racing than any other manufacturer. In the Paris-Rouen trial of 1894, Peugeot shared first prize. Peugeot won the 1895 Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race, and there were numerous other successes, not least the French Grand Prix wins in 1912 and 1913, then the world's premier motor race. Peugeot's record in America is exceptional - 1st at Indianapolis in 1913 and 1916, as well as winning the 1915 Vanderbilt Cup.
Peugeot's racing achievements from 1912 onwards were largely due to the development of dual overhead camshaft engines. They were not the first to make such an engine, but they were the first to fully exploit its potential for maximum power from a given engine size. Driver/mechanics Georges Boillot, Paulo Zuccarelli and Jules Goux together with draftsman-designer Ernest Henry and factory engineer Vasselot each made a contribution. The result was a successful engine that spawned many outstanding followers including Delage, Alfa Romeo and Sunbeam, and from them Miller, Duesenberg and Aston Martin. To this day, there have been few successful racing engines that have been other than dohc units; an enormous debt is owed by all motor racing to the Peugeot company for its pioneering work.