1894 Paris–Rouen

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For the world's first "city to city" bicycle race in 1869 see Paris–Rouen
1894 Paris-Rouen
Scene of the 1894 Paris Rouen Concours du 'Petit Journal' Les Voitures sans Chevaux on the front page of Le Petit Journal 5 August 1894. Car 27 is a Peugeot Type 2 driven by Louis Rigoulot.
Venue Road from Paris to Rouen
Distance 126 kilometres (78 mi)
 Photo d'Albert de Dion, vainqueur de l'épreuve.
Jules-Albert, Comte de Dion finished first in a steam powered De Dion tractor towing une Calèche, but was not eligible for the prize. Among the passengers are the Marquis de Dion, Baron Étienne van Zuylen van Nyevelt-Rothschild, and writer Émile Driant.
 Photo de Albert Lemaître, deuxième de l'épreuve.
Albert Lemaître (pictured on left) finished second in a 3 hp Peugeot but was judged the winner. Bicycle and tyre manufacturer Adolphe Clément-Bayard was the front passenger.

On July 22,[1] 1894, Paris–Rouen, Le Petit Journal Competition for Horseless Carriages (Concours du 'Petit Journal' Les Voitures sans Chevaux), was a pioneering city-to-city motoring competition in 1894. Some anglophone sources call it a race, a rally or a trial, and it is sometimes described as the world's first competitive motor race although the initial announcement stated that "it will not be a race".[2][Notes 1]

The competition was organised by the newspaper Le Petit Journal and run from Paris to Rouen in France on July 22, 1894. It was preceded by four days of vehicle exhibition and qualifying events that created great crowds and excitement. The eight 50 km (31 mi) qualifying events started near the Bois de Boulogne and comprised interwoven routes around Paris to select the entrants for the 126 km (78 mi)[3] main event.

The first driver across the finishing line at Rouen was Jules-Albert, Comte de Dion but he did not win the main prize because his steam vehicle needed a 'stoker' and was thus ineligible.[4] The fastest petrol powered car was a 3 hp (2.2 kW; 3.0 PS) Peugeot driven by Albert Lemaître. The premier prize, the 5,000 franc Prix du Petit Journal, for 'the competitor whose car comes closest to the ideal' was shared equally by manufacturers Panhard et Levassor and Les fils de Peugeot frères ("The sons of Peugeot brothers"), with vehicles that were 'easy to use'.[5][6][7][8]

1894 – Paris to Rouen[edit]

 Photo d'Auguste Doriot, troisième de l'épreuve.
Auguste Doriot, finished third in a Vis a vis (Face to face) 3 hp Peugeot.[9]
Panhard-Levassor (1890–1895), similar to Paul Panhard's fourth place finisher.
Émile Kraeutler finished 6th in a 3hp Peugeot.
Michaud finished 9th in the 3 hp Peugeot phaeton.
Michaud passes through a busy street in Mantes-la-Ville, racing amongst horses and pedestrians, en route to Rouen where he finished 9th in the 3 hp Peugeot phaeton.
1894 Paris-Rouen Serpollet Steamer No 44 DNF (Leon Serpollet is 3rd from left)

Organisation[edit]

In 1894, Pierre Giffard organised the world's first motoring competition from Paris to Rouen to publicise his newspaper, Le Petit Journal, stimulate interest in motoring and develop French motor manufacturers. Sporting events were a tried and tested form of publicity stunt and circulation booster. The paper promoted it as 'Le Petit Journal' Competition for Horseless Carriages ('Le Petit Journal' Concours des Voitures sans Chevaux) that were not dangerous, easy to drive, and cheap during the journey, the main prize being for the competitor whose car comes closest to the ideal. The announcement in Le Petit Journal on 19 December 1893 expressly denied that it would be a race - ce ne sera pas une course. The easy to drive clause effectively precluded from the prizes any vehicles needing a travelling mechanic or technical assistant such as a stoker.[2][5]

Le Petit Journal announced prize money totalling 10,000 gold francs – 5,000 for first place, 2,000 for second, 1,500 for third; 1,000 for fourth, and 500 for fifth. The main prize was for the first eligible vehicle across the finish line in Rouen.[2]

Entrants[edit]

See full list of 102 entrants.

102 people paid the 10 franc entrance fee. They ranged from practical manufacturers like Peugeot, Panhard, de Dion-Bouton and Serpollet to amateur owners and 'over-ambitious concepts'. 78 entrants did not show up for qualifying on 18 July, these included circa 25 powered by unfamiliar and improbable technologies such as 'gravity – nine; 'compressed air' – five; 'automatic' – three; electricity – three; gas – three; hydraulics – two; liquid, pedals, propellers and levers. Additionally 19 petrol powered designs and 26 steam powered cars, quadricycles and tricycles did not show up at the qualifying event.[5][6][10]

Qualifying[edit]

Qualifying was held on 19–21 July 1894, and was preceded by a public exhibition of 26 cars in the Bois de Boulogne on 18 July. Journalists reported great crowds and excitement throughout the routes, and at Précy-sur-Oise they finished through a triumphal arch. On 19 July 26 cars lined the side of the Boulevard Maillot, stretching to the Bois de Boulogne, each parked 10 m (33 ft) apart until, at 8am, the first car led off, followed at 15 second intervals by the others. The 50 km (31 mi) qualifying event had to be completed in under three hours to be eligible to start the main event, the 126 km (78 mi) race from Paris to Rouen; 21 were selected for the main event.[5][10][11]

Qualifying was used as a major publicity tool for both the event and the newspaper for our readers who want to see the cars on the roads around Paris. The 22 vehicles were split into five groups who completed complex interwoven tours of Paris and its environs, including Mantes-la-Jolie, Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Flins-sur-Seine, Poissy, Triel-sur-Seine, Rambouillet, Versailles, Dampierre-en-Yvelines, Corbeil-Essonnes, Palaiseau, Précy-sur-Oise, Gennevilliers and L'Isle-Adam, Val-d'Oise. The groups were carefully balanced to ensure each included petrol and steam, a Peugeot, a Panhard & Levassor, and different seating. It is noteworthy Le Petit Journal, on the morning of the event, still officially expected Monsieur Lemoigne and his gravity powered vehicle to participate, although he was included as an additional member of group 5.[10]

The groups that set off from Porte Maillot on Thursday 19 July were:[10]

  • Itinerary 1 – Paris to Mantes-la-Jolie via Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Flins-sur-Seine:
    • No. 3 MM. de Dion, Bouton et Cie, break, 6 seats, steam. – Did not qualify for Paris-Rouen.
    • No. 13 MM. Panhard et Levassor, 4 seats, petrol. – qualified
    • No. 21 M. Letar, 4 seats, steam. – Did not qualify
    • No. 30 MM. Les fils de Peugeot frères, 3 seats, petrol - qualified
  • Itinerary 2 – Paris to Mantes-la-Jolie via Poissy and Triel-sur-Seine:
    • No. 10 M. Scotte, 8–10 seats, steam. – qualified
    • No. 15 MM. Panhard et Levassor, 2 seats, petrol. – qualified
    • No. 25 M. Coqatrix, 4 seats, steam. – qualified
    • No. 28 MM. Les fils de Peugeot frères, 4 seats, petrol. – qualified
    • No. 44 M. de Prandieres, 6 seats, system Serpollet and petrol combined.[clarification needed] – qualified
(Note - Le Petit Journal does not show an itinerary 3, presumably either a misprint or changed plan.)
  • Itinerary 4 – Paris to Rambouillet via Versailles and Dampierre-en-Yvelines:
    • No. 7 M. Gautier, 4 seats, petrol. – qualified
    • No. 18 M. Archdeacon, 6–7 seats, steam. – qualified
    • No. 19 M. Le Blant, 8–10 seats, steam. – qualified
    • No. 42 M. Le Brun, 4 seats, petrol. – qualified
  • Itinerary 5 – Paris to Corbeil-Essonnes via Versailles and Palaiseau:
    • No. 4 M. de Dion, victoria 4 people, steam. - qualified
    • No. 16 M. Quantin, 6 seats, petrol - did not qualify
    • No. 27 MM. Les fils de Peugeot frères, 2 seats, petrol - qualified
    • No. 29 MM. Les fils de Peugeot frères, 4 seats, petrol. – Did not qualify
    • No. 40 M Lemoigne, 4 seats, 'gravity powered'. Note – Did not show or was eliminated.
(Sources show 3 or 5 vehicles on this route and variance over qualification)
  • Itinerary 6 – Paris to Précy-sur-Oise via Gennevilliers and L'Isle-Adam, Val-d'Oise:
    • No. 12 M. Tenting, 4 seats, petrol. Note – Did not qualify for Paris-Rouen.
    • No. 14 MM. Panhard et Levassor, 4 seats, (New type) petrol. – qualified
    • No. 24 M. Alfred Vacheron, 2 seats, petrol. – did not qualify until Saturday 21st
    • No. 31 MM. Les fils de Peugeot frères, break, 5 seats, petrol. – qualified

On Friday 20 July a second qualifying event was run over two routes.[12]

  • Itinerary 1 – Paris to Mantes-la-Jolie via Bezons, Houilles and Maisons-Laffitte.
    • No. 44 M. de Prandieres, 6 seats, system Serpollet and petrol combined - qualified
    • No. 60 M. Le Blant, Serpollet, 9 seats, steam - qualified
    • No. 64 M. Émile Mayade, Panhard et Levassor, 4 seats, petrol - qualified
    • No. 65 M. Albert Lemaître, Les fils de Peugeot frères, 4 seats, petrol - qualified
  • Itinerary 2 – Paris to Corbeil-Essonnes
    • No. 61 M. Roger de Montais, De Montais, 2 seat tricycle, petrol - qualified
    • No. 85 M. Émile Roger, Benz, 2 seats, petrol - qualified

On Saturday 21 July a third qualifying event was run from Paris to Poissy.

    • No. 53 M. de Bourmont (de Bourmont, 4 seats, petrol) - qualified
    • No. 24 M. Alfred Vacheron, 2 seats, petrol - qualified

Race[edit]

At 8am on 22 July the 21 qualifiers started from Porte Maillot and went via the Bois de Boulogne, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Courbevoie, Nanterre, Chatou, Le Pecq, Poissy, Triel-sur-Seine, Vaux-sur-Seine, and Meulan, to Mantes where they stopped for lunch from 12:00 until 13:30, whence they set off to Vernon, Eure, Gaillon, Pont-de-l'Arche, and 'Champ de Mars' at Rouen.

Comte de Dion was first into Rouen after 6 hours 48 minutes at an average speed of 19 km/h (12 mph). He finished 3 min 30 sec ahead of Albert Lemaître (Peugeot), Auguste Doriot (Peugeot) (16 min 30 sec back), René Panhard (Panhard) (33 min 30 sec) and Émile Levassor (Panhard) (55 min 30 sec).[5][7][11]

Prizes[edit]

On Tuesday 24 July Le Petit Journal announced the prizes :[8]

  • First prize, the Prix du Petit Journal for the competitor whose car comes closest to the ideal. 5,000 francs was shared equally between MM. Panhard et Levassor and 'Les fils de Peugeot Frères'.
  • Second prize, the Prix Marinoni. 2,000 francs was awarded to MM. de Dion, Bouton et Cie for their interesting steam tractor that works like a horse and gives both absolute speed and pulling power up hills.
  • Third prize, the Prix Marinoni. 1,500 francs was awarded to M. Maurice Le Blant for his nine seater vehicle poweered by the 'systeme Serpollet'.
  • Fourth prize, the Prix Marinoni. 1,000 francs was shared between two manufacturers, MM. Alfred Vacheron (No. 24) and Le Brun (No. 42).
  • Fifth prize, the Prix Marinoni. 500 francs was awarded to M. Roger (No. 85)

Results for Paris-Rouen[edit]

Position
Overall
Number Driver / Entrant Make Power People Time
Overall
Position
at Mantes
Time
Paris-Mantes
circa 50 km
Time
Mantes-Rouen
circa 80 km
1 4 Jules-Albert, Comte de Dion, Bouton De Dion-Bouton Steam 4 6 h 48 m 00 s or
5 h 40 m[13]
2 2 h 38 m 4 h 10 m
2 65 Albert Lemaître – 'Les fils de Peugeot Frères' Peugeot Petrol 4 6 h 51 m 30 s or
5 h 45 m[13]
1 2 h 36 m 4 h 15 m
3 28 Auguste Doriot – 'Les fils de Peugeot Frères' Peugeot Petrol 4 7 h 04 m 30 s or
5 h 50 m[13]
4 2 h 44 m 4 h 20 m
4 13 Paul Panhard – MM. Panhard et Levassor Panhard et Levassor Petrol 4 7 h 21 m 30 s or
6 h 3 m [13]
5 2 h 48 m 4 h 33 m
5 or 7[13] 15 Émile Levassor – MM. Panhard et Levassor Panhard et Levassor Petrol 2 7 h 43 m 30 s or
6 h 30 m [13]
3 2h 43 m 5 h 0 m
6 or 5[13] 31 Émile Kraeutler – 'Les fils de Peugeot Frères' Peugeot Petrol 4 7 h 46 m 30 s or
6 h 7 m[13]
10 3 h 9 m 4 h 37 m
7 or 8[13] 64 Émile Mayade Panhard et Levassor Petrol 4 8 h 09 m 00 s or
6 h 49 m[13]
6 2 h 50 m 5 h 19 m
8 or 6[13] 42 A. Le Brun Le Brun Petrol 4 8 h 12 m 00 s or
6 h 24 m[13]
13 3 h 18 m 4 h 54 m
9 or 10[13] 30 Michaud – 'Les fils de Peugeot Frères' Peugeot Petrol 3 8 h 25 m 00 s or
7 h 2 m[13]
7 2 h 53 m 5 h 32 m
10 or 13[13] 14 Dubois – MM. Panhard et Levassor Panhard et Levassor Petrol 4 8 h 38 m 00 s or
7 h 10 m[13]
8 2 h 58 5 h 40 m
11 or 12[13] 27 Louis Rigoulot – 'Les fils de Peugeot Frères' Peugeot Type 5 Petrol 2 8 h 41 m 00 s or
7 h 5 m[13]
12 3 h 16 m 5 h 35 m
12 or 11[13] 24 Alfred Vacheron Vacheron / Panhard Petrol 2 8 h 42 m 30 s or
7 h 3 m[13]
11 3 h 9 m 5 h 33 m
13 or 9[13] 53 De Bourmont de Bourmont Petrol 4 8 h 51 m 00 s or
7 h 1 m[13]
15 3 h 21 m 5 h 31 m
14 85 Émile Roger Benz Petrol 10 h 01 m 00 s or
8 h 9 m[13]
16 3 h 22 m 6 h 39 m
15 60 Maurice Le Blant Serpollet Steam 8 10 h 43 m 00 s or
8 h 50 m[13]
17 3 h 23 m 7 h 20 m
16 7 Pierre Gautier Gautier–Wehrlé petrol 4 12 h 24 m 30 s 19 4 h 17 m 8 h 7 m
17 18 Ernest Archdeacon Serpollet Steam 6 13 h 00 m 00 s 14 3 h 20 m 9 h 40 m
Stopped 44 De Prandiéres Serpollet steam 4 Nanterre
– broken wheel[9]
retired out
Stopped 19 Étienne le Blant Serpollet steam 10 Motor 20 4 h 39 m retired
Stopped 10 J. Scotte Scotte steam 8 Motor 9 3 h 8 m retired
Stopped 61 Roger de Montais De Montais Petrol 2 18 4 h 0 m retired

Table sources.[7][13][14][15]

List of applicants[edit]

Result No. Entrant
Manufacturer
City Seats Engine type
No show 1 Rousselet Paris 4 gravity
No show 2 Edouard Pellorce Neuilly-sur-Seine petrol
Did not qualify 3 De Dion-Bouton et C° Puteaux 4 steam
Started 4 De Dion-Bouton et C° Puteaux 6 steam
No show 5 Le Maitre Paris 4 steam
No show 6 Roussat Paris 4 hydraulic
Started 7 Gautier P Paris 4 petrol
No show 8 Hidien Châteauroux 4 steam
No show 9 Victor Popp Paris 4 air compressor
Started 10 Scott J Épernay 8 steam
No show 11 Klaus Th Lyon 4 petrol
Did not qualify 12 Tenting Paris 4 petrol
Started 13 Panhard & Levassor Paris 4 petrol
Started 14 Panhard & Levassor Paris 4 petrol
Started 15 Panhard & Levassor Paris 4 petrol
No show 16 Quantio Roubaix 6 petrol
No show 17 Rodier, Roche et Sabatier Bagnols-sur-Cèze gas
Started 18 Archdeacon M E
(or Serpollet)
Paris 7 petrol
(or steam)
Started 19 Le Blant Paris 10 steam
No show 20 Paraire G Château-Thierry steam
No show 21 Letar Alexandre Paris 4 steam
No show 22 Gaillardet Petit Gennevilliers 4 steam
No show 23 Varennes Paris 3 steam
Started 24 Vacheron Alfred Monthermé 2 gasoline
No show 25 Coquatrix Paris 4 steam
No show 26 Leval Paris 4 baricycle?
Started 27 Peugeot Fils et frères Valentigney 4 gasoline
Started 28 Peugeot Fils et frères Valentigney 4 gasoline
Did not qualify 29 Peugeot Fils et frères Valentigney 4 gasoline
Started 30 Peugeot Fils et frères Valentigney 4 gasoline
Started 31 Peugeot Fils et frères Valentigney 4 gasoline
No show 32 Darras L Bruay tricycle steam
No show 33 Geoffroy M P steam
No show 34 Geoffroy M P steam
No show 35 Geoffroy M P steam
No show 36 Gillot Jules Maubeuge 4 petrol
No show 37 Loubiere Albert La Ferté-sous-Jouarre 6 gravity
No show 38 Duchemin A Paris 4
No show 39 Ponsot Paris 4 Oil?
No show 40 Lemoigne Louis Fougères 4 gravity
No show 41 Bargogli Paris 4 petrol
Started 42 Le Brun A Rouen 4 petrol
No show 43 Spanoghe Antwerp, Belgium 6 steam
Started 44 de Prandieres M Lyon 6 Serpollet steam
No show 45 Cornequet Paris 8 automatic
No show 46 Matin-Cudrez F Paris 2 steam
No show 47 Barthelemy Cesar Yèbles 3 gravity
No show 48 Leblanc Ay, Marne 6 steam
No show 49 Valentin J M Bruyères 3 gravity
No show 50 Werstein Paris 3 pedals
Result No. Entrant City Seats Engine type
No show 51 Lepape Paris 4 petrol
No show 52 Société Parisienne de
constructions Velo
Paris 4 air compressor
Started 53 de Bourmont M Arcachon 4 petrol
No show 54 Froger Elie Feneu 4 petrol
No show 55 De Dion-Bouton et C° Puteaux 4 petrol
No show 56 Lebrun M Roches-Bettaincourt 4 automatic
No show 57 Seunier M 4 petrol
No show 58 Barbier et Marcillet Paris 3 steam
No show 59 Bezamat Colombes 4 steam
Started 60 Le Blant Maurice Paris 9 steam
Started 61 de Montais Roger Beauvroit 2 petrol
No show 62 Mallarme Gentilly steam
No show 63 Tissandier et Lacombe Agen petrol
Started 64 Panhard & Levassor Paris petrol
Started 65 Peugeot Fils et frères Valentigney 4 gasoline
No show 66 Museur L et Cordonnier E Masnières 4 steam
No show 67 Lebesgue Paris petrol
No show 68 Garnier E et Delannoy G Beauvois 4 combination
No show 69 de Malapert et Barriere Paris 4 liquid
No show 70 Fays – Poisson Gigny 6 gravity
No show 71 Klaus Th Lyon 2 tricycle petrol
No show 72 Tamarelle – Capeyron Bergerac 5 steam
No show 73 Pretot Paris 4 petrol
No show 74 Mayer Raoul Chevanceaux 2 quadracycle steam
No show 75 Dessaux Charles Paris 2 tricycle gravity
No show 76 Tirant Georges Baissy steam
No show 77 Reverseau Paris 4 automatic
No show 78 Berthaud Lyon 8 air compressor
No show 79 Baudet A Paris 4 steam
No show 80 Quantin Boulogne 6 steam
No show 81 Becherel Paris 2 tricycle steam
No show 82 Monges Paris 4 electric
No show 83 Suodais Fontenay[disambiguation needed] 6 electric
No show 84 Plantard Paris 4 air compressor
Started 85 Roger Paris 2 petrol
No show 86 Garrard
Garrard & Blumfield
Birmingham
Great Britain
electric
No show 87 Landry & Beyroux G 4 petrol
No show 88 Jeantaud Paris 3 petrol
No show 89 Demont Paris 4 steam
No show 90 Mansart Beauvais 4 gravity
No show 91 Carli le comte Italy 2 electric
No show 92 de Farcy Angers 2 petrol
No show 93 Gantry Orléans 2 gas
No show 94 Morelleras H Angoulême gravity
No show 95 Roze – Andrillon Marseille 4 air compressor
No show 96 Canis Maulan 4 propeller
No show 97 Deutsch M Germany 2 petrol (Benz Car)
No show 98 Deutsch M Germany 2 petrol (Benz Car)
No show 99 Bonneills Valance[disambiguation needed] 2 petrol
No show 100 Bellanger Le Mans 4 system
No show 101 Mary Jean Paris 4 gas
No show 102 Barriquand M 4 hydraulic
Result No. Entrant City Seats Engine type

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A previous motoring event had been held in 1887 but received only a single entrant. Georges Bouton and his riding mechanic, Jules-Albert, Comte de Dion, completed the 2 mi (3.2 km) drive from the Bois de Boulogne to Porte Maillot in a steam-powered vehicle of their own manufacture, the genesis of the De Dion-Bouton.

References[edit]

Other sources[edit]

Gallery[edit]

External links[edit]