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The Peugeot Type 3 was a very early French automobile, and was Peugeot's first model to be sold to the public and made in meaningful quantities. It was Peugeot's second internal combustion-engined car.

Background

The earliest Peugeot model from 1889 had been steam-powered tricycles built under collaboration with Léon Serpollet. In 1890, Armand Peugeot met with contemporary trailblazers of car technology, Gottlieb Daimler and Émile Levassor, and became convinced that reliable, practical, and lightweight vehicles would have to be powered by petrol and have four wheels. The Type 2 was the first such model. Peugeot's one-time partner Serpollet would persevere with steam technology with continued success under the marque Gardner-Serpollet until his death in 1907.

Performance

The engine was a German design by Daimler, but was licensed for production in France by Panhard et Levassor and then sold to Peugeot. It was a 15° V-twin and produced 2 bhp, sufficient for a top speed of approximately 18 kilometres per hour (11 mph).

In its inaugural year of 1891, Armand Peugeot decided to show the robustness of his car by taking it alongside the Paris–Brest–Paris cycle race. This demonstration car ultimately survived a total of 14,710 kilometres (9,140 mi) without major malfunctions, something of a miraculous achievement with contemporary mechanics, and later became the first Peugeot sold to the public. A somewhat lightened Type 3 was entered into an 1895 race from Paris to Bordeaux and back, winning and maintaining an average speed of 21.5 kilometres per hour (13.4 mph). This story was related by Chris Goffey in a Top Gear episode from 1989, when showing early examples of Peugeot durability