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Bolide as a make evolved from the Léo motorcars that were made from late 1896 by Léon Lefebvre in the Clichy district of Paris. A Fessard-designed two-cylinder 'Pygmée' engine that was manufactured by the Usines Bouhey originally as a stationary unit was used, mounted horizontally at the rear, with belt drive to a central gearbox and side-chain drive. In 1899 the cars became known under the Bolide (meteor) name and Lefebvre drove one in the Tour de France motor race. A Belgian textile machinery manufacturing firm, Snoeck, obtained a manufacturing license and also built a four-cylinder horizontally-opposed 30hp car that took part in the first Gordon Bennett race of 1900 as a Snoeck-Bolide.

In 1902 a range of conventional cars was introduced, the single-cylinder versions of which used Lacoste & Battmann running gear and De Dion-Bouton or Aster engines, whilst the larger models were powered by Tony Huber units. In 1905 Lefebvre left the firm to make the Prima motorcar that lasted until 1909.

Source: Society of Automotive Historians in Britain

Models produced by Bolide

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