Delamare-Deboutteville was a French car designed in 1884.
Many people argue that Edouard Delamare-Deboutteville and his assistant, Leon Malandin had invented the first car. Mr. Édouard Delamare-Deboutteville described how he had built and driven his car in early 1884. The car had a front bench seat and a rear platform, four wheels, a transmission to the rear wheels by chain, shaft transmission and a differential. In 1883 Edouard Delamare-Deboutteville run his car whose engine was powered by gas, but the gas supply hose broke during this first trial, so he replaced the gas with fuel oil. In order to use this product, he invented a wick carburetor. This vehicle travelled for the first time on the little road from Fontaine-le Bourg to Cailly, Normandy in early February 1884. On 12 February 1884, he registered his design under patent number 160267.
The anteriority of Edouard Delamare-Deboutteville on Karl Benz is, therefore, it seems incontestable, he did build the first four-wheeled vehicle powered by an internal combustion four stroke engine running on gas oil. However, it seems that vehicles developed by Delamare-Deboutteville were far from functioning properly, some exploding during their brief use, and they never went into production. Although this pre-dated Benz and Daimler's first vehicles, some think it can't be considered the first car, because of these reasons. In addition, earlier experiments were made with IC-engined vehicles in Switzerland (de Rivaz), France (Lenoir), and Austria (Marcus).
Delamare-Deboutteville was much more focused on mechanical methods to modernize the family's cotton factory.
Several replicas were made of the Delamare-Deboutteville design and have been entered in all kinds of different events.
The French have also claimed that Panhard & Levassor and Peugeot had laid the foundation for the automobile and not Daimler and Benz. Benz was probably the first to go into car production in 1888, after experimental cars from 1885-1887. Daimler, who also built early experimental cars from 1886–1889, began to slowly turn out some production cars starting around 1890. Also, both Peugeot and Panhard began car production by using Daimler engines, and were inspired to produced cars due to Daimler's exhibition of his 1889 steel-wheeled car in Paris. Benz's car was built by Émile Roger in Paris, garnering more sales than Benz himself, and Benz's designs were copied by many French makers for their first cars.
From this experience, Delamare-Deboutteville developed large engines up to 7,000 hp (5,200 kW), which he presented at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1900 where he won the grand prize.
The life of Edouard Delamare-Deboutteville was filled with research and travel. He wrote a few treaties of mussel culture, three volumes of a Sanskrit grammar, he created in Carantec in the Bay of Morlaix and in the Aber Benoît (Finistère) an oyster farm which still exists, and left a collection of birds and some philosophical studies. He died at the age of 45.
- Pictures and more information (French and English):