Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat

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Georges Bouton and the count de Chasseloup-Laubat on a steam automobile Trépardoux & Cie. Dog Cart de route (1885), possibly the winning vehicle of the Marseille-La Turbie contest of 1897.

Count Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat (1867 - November 20, 1903) [1][2] was a French race car driver. He is known for setting the first recognised automobile land speed record on December 18, 1898 in Achères, Yvelines, using a Jeantaud electric car.

The record was set as part of a competition organised by the French automobile magazine La France Automobile. He completed a single flying 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) run in 57 seconds to give an average speed of 63.13 km/h (39 mph) [3]

He further improved this record to 66.65 km/h (41.41 mph) one month later on January 17, 1899, also at Achères in the first of a series of record setting duels with Camille Jenatzy. Ten days later Jenatzy managed to break this record although it would revert to de Chasseloup-Laubat on March 4, 1899 when he increased it to 92.69 km/h (57.59 mph). Jenatzy finally took the record on April 29, 1899 with the first run over 100 km/h (62 mph) with an average speed of 105 km/h (65 mph), a record that was to last 3 years.

Chasseloup-Laubat managed to win the Marseille-La Turbie long-distance race in 1897 with a steam vehicle built by Trépardoux & Cie, predecessor of De Dion-Bouton. This was the only mayor city-to-city event won by a steam car.

The count died in Paris, aged 36.


  1. ^ Robert Dick (2004). Mercedes And Auto Racing In The Belle Epoque, 1895-1915. McFarland & Company. 
  2. ^ "Comte de Chasseloup-Laubat Dead]". NY Times. November 21, 1903. 
  3. ^ J.R. Holthusen (1999). The Fastest Men on Earth. Sutton Publishing. p. 6.