Follow Motorbase:
Search Motorbase for

Leon Bollee


Leon Bollee built his first horse-less vehicle in 1895.  He called the vehicle a 'Voiturette'.  The three-wheeler was powered by a 650 cc single-cylinder engine that drove the rear wheels.  In 1898, Bollee developed his first motorcar with four wheels.  He sold the production rights for this design to Alexandre Darracq for 250,000 francs.

Bollee built his first large car in 1902 and large really meant large to Bollee.  The cars powered by a four-cylinder engine with capacities ranging to no less than 8.0 litres.  Bollee sold between 150 and 350 cars a year which of course is nothing to get that excited about.  Bollee died in 1913 but was not forgotten.  In his home town of Le Mans, a special monument was erected ho him and in Paris a street was named after him. 

In 1924, the company  'Automobiles Leon Bollee' was taken over by Sir William Morris.  From that time onwards the company was known as Morris Motors Ltd.

Source: The complete encyclopedia of Vintage Cars - Rob de la Rive Box1895-1933

Amédée Bollée Senior was the major French pioneer steam vehicle maker from the 1870s into the following decade. Two of his sons, Léon and Amédée Junior, both became automobile manufacturers in their home town of Le Mans.

Léon patented a small three-wheeled vehicle in 1895 for which he coined the name voiturette (little car) and this word entered the motoring vocabulary as the name for any small car. The vehicle's layout placed the passenger between the two steered front wheels, whilst the driver sat behind and conducted proceedings. A single-cylinder air-cooled engine was located horizontally alongside the back wheel and drove forwards to the gearbox whence a flat belt transmitted power to the back wheel. Léon Bollée voiturettes were fast and reasonably practical, but the design was incapable of development, production ceasing in 1900 after several thousand had been made.

From 1903 large, expensive, conventional cars were made by Léon Bollée, but he died in 1913 aged only 43.

Source: Society of Automotive Historians in Britain

Models produced by Leon Bollee

Related Links

Suggest a link relating to Leon Bollee

Related Contacts

Suggest a Contact relating to Leon Bollee