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1901 Serpollet Vis-a-Vis Typ_D, 1901, Collection Schlumpf, Mulhouse, France
Gardner-Serpollet (steam) 5HP Double phaeton from 1900
1902 Serpollet Double Phaeton Type A, Collection Schlumpf, Mulhouse
1903 Gardner-Serpollet now at Larz Anderson Auto Museum
PTL Serpollet double phaeton c. 1902

Gardner-Serpollet was a French manufacturer of steam-powered cars in the early 20th century.

In 1896,[1] Léon Serpollet invented and perfected the flash boiler, which made steam a much more practical source of power for an automobile. The oil-fired flash boiler fed steam to a very advanced four-cylinder enclosed engine similar to the contemporary petrol engine design including poppet valves and an enclosed crankcase.

Serpollet produced his own automobiles under the name Serpollet and Gardner-Serpollet until his death in 1907. The 'Gardner' part of the name comes from the financial involvement of the American industrialist, Frank Gardner.

A 1903 Gardner-Serpollet is on display at Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts.


Léon Serpollet was born in the Ain department of France, and went on to establish his factory on the rue des Cloÿs in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, a location that has become the Parc Léon Serpollet today.[2]

1894 Paris-Rouen[edit]

On July 22,[3] 1894 four Serpollet vehicles competed in the Le Petit Journal Contest for Horseless Carriages from Paris to Rouen. Maurice Le Blant finished 14th and Ernest Archdeacon finished 16th, but 'De Prandiéres' and Étienne le Blant stopped en route.[4][5]

The Easter Egg[edit]

Besides being an inventor and manufacturer, Leon Serpollet became the first driver of a non-electrically powered car to hold the Land Speed Record. His ovoid steam car Œuf de Pâques (Easter Egg) reached a speed of 75.06 mph over the flying kilometre on the Promenade des Anglais at Nice, France on 13 April 1902, exceeding the 1899 record of Camille Jenatzy's La Jamais Contente.


External links[edit]