De Dietrich 24hp

Key facts

  • Year: 1903
  • Country: France
  • Capacity: 5,428cc
  • Cylinders: 4 cylinder
  • Performance: 50mph
  • Price new: £960
  • Loaned by: Private Owner
  • Manufacturer: De Dietrich et Cie, Luneville
A 1903 De Dietrich 24hp veteran car On Display

This 1903 De Dietrich 24hp is a typical fast touring car of the early 20th century, with the engine at the front and chain-driven rear wheels. Braking is on the rear wheels only. Originally owned by gold mining pioneer Sir Joseph Robinson, it was placed in a London furniture depository when he emigrated in 1910 and remained in storage until 1956. It appears regularly in the annual London to Brighton run for Veteran cars.

De Dietrich is a French company with origins dating back to an ironworks in 17th Century Alsace. In the 1870s Alsace became part of Germany and a new factory was built on French soil at Luneville in Lorraine. Car production started in 1897. From 1901 De Dietrichs were actually designed by Turcat-Méry of Marseilles, both companies building near-identical cars. From 1905 a new company was formed and the cars were branded as Lorraine-Dietrich.

Absence of vibration, coupled with its speed and easy running, make it compare most favourably with the other principal makes of car…

Letter from Mr H R Kirk of Leeds, quoted in 1904 De Dietrich brochure.

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