Most are aware that the first viable gasoline powered vehicle was produced by Carl Benz in 1886, making Mercedes-Benz the brand with the longest running heritage in the business. For every gold medal, there’s a silver, and this one goes to Peugeot, a marque that has played a major role in the business of self-propelled wheeled vehicles since 1889.
Its roots actually go back to 1810. Before the Peugeot name was applied to cars and trucks, it was seen on salt, pepper, and coffee grinders, bicycles, chisels, saw blades, and starting in the 1850s, metal strips to keep ladies’ crinolines in order—not to mention steel corset stays. Hey, it’s a French company!
Just 56 kilometers southwest of Mulhouse lies Sochaux (“So-show”), where Peugeot has been building vehicles—upwards of 20 million of them so far—for the past 106 years. Right across from that factory is L’Aventure Peugeot, a beautifully presented and organized collection of Peugeot products, mostly cars, that date back to the start of the Belle Époque.
At top is the 1937 Peugeot 302 Darl’Mat as raced at Le Mans that year. Darl’Mat placed #7, #8 and #10. First place went to Bugatti, of course.