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Overview

1899 - 1904

Whilst the activities of the Déchamps factory in Brussels were relatively simple: a motor tricycle and a voiturette were introduced in 1899 and then cars of various sizes were made; the business side of firm was anything but straightforward. The tricycle appears to have used a French Phébus frame and a copy of a De Dion Bouton engine, whilst the tiller-steered voiturette although obviously inspired by a number of Paris-made small cars did use a Déchamps two-cylinder engine. The cars that followed were entirely conventional and by 1903 four-cylinder cars of 14 and 18hp were available. The business was then bought by a British concern, the company name was changed, and for 1904 the cars were renamed as the Baudouin after the street in which the factory was located. Also a new car was developed with a powerful 40-50hp engine, no gearbox was used, and the car was marketed as the 'Direct'. Prosperity did not follow the change of ownership and the name changes, and by 1906 the Déchamps-Baudouin business had disappeared.

Source: Society of Automotive Historians in Britain



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