1900 - 1904
Léon Nagant established his small-arms factory in Liège in 1859 and after 1870 when Europe was relatively peaceful he added machine tools and electrical equipment to his portfolio. Various prototype motorcars were made from 1896 and late in 1899 Nagant signed an agreement with the French firm Gobron-Brillié to make its cars under licence. This firm had been established in November 1898 and the heart of its cars was the two-cylinder opposed-piston vertical engine (and subsequent multiples thereof) designed by the brilliant engineer Eugène Brillié. Others made opposed-piston engines but the Brillié engine was unique in having its top two pistons joined by a cross-head and linked to the crankshaft by long external con-rods. The system worked very well and it was aboard an 110hp Gobron-Brillié that Louis Rigolly became the first motorist to exceed 100 miles per hour in July 1904. The touring Gobron-Brilliés and those made by Nagant were naturally somewhat more prosaic!
After 1904 Nagant made conventional cars, of the highest quality, but following the Great War its market dwindled and car production had ceased by 1929.