Tag Archive: decauville

Sir Frederick Henry Royce (1863 – 1933) was a self made electrical engineer and was involved in making electrical fittings and electric cranes through his own company Royce Ltd. In 1902 , he bought a second hand Decauville car and was not satisfied with its performance and quality. He went about building his own car based on the Decauville car and created a 2-cylinder Royce 10 car in 1904  –
Charles Stewart Rolls (1877 – 1910) was form a rich family. In 1903 , he founded the C S Rolls and Co to import and sell Peugeot cars from France and Minerva cars from Belgium.
Charles Rolls was introduced to Henry Royce and they created Rolls- Royce Ltd in 1906 with an agreement that C S Rolls and Co will sell the entire production of Rolls-Royce Ltd. By 1907 , C S Rolls and Co was integrated in to Rolls-Royce Ltd.
The first and the most famous car from Rolls-Royce was Silver Ghost , launched in 1907 and continued in production till 1925.
The Silver Ghost did a non-stop 14371 miles gaining the name – “The best car in the world“.
Henry Royce was a perfectionist and the Rolls-Royce cars were known for their smoothness , reliability and quality. The company followed its founder’s dictum of – “Take the best that exists and make it better”.
1927 , the Silver Ghost gave way to the next generation of famous Rolls-Royce , the Phantom
In 1931 , Rolls-Royce acquired Bentley Motors.
During the war , Rolls-Royce was forced to manufacture aero engines and were excelling in aircraft engines, creating successive airspeed records.
In 1971 , financial trouble led to nationalization of Rolls-Royce Ltd. In 1973, it was again de-nationalised , forming Rolls-Royce Motors for Automobiles and Rolls-Royce plc for aircraft engines.
In 1980 , the company was taken over by Vickers, an engineering company.
Rolls-Royce continued to manufacture classic cars which were used by the British Royalty and movie stars.
Some of the Rolls-Royce cars –
A 1979 Silver Shadow
In 1998 Vickers sold off the Rolls-Royce Motors to BMW and Volkswagen in a complex deal. As per the deal, Volkswagen got the Rolls-Royce factory and the patented radiator grill design and BMW got the Rolls-Royce name and logo. This led Volkswagen not being able to use the Rolls-Royce name. After sustained negotiations , in 2003, the entire Rolls-Royce rights were transferred to BMW and now BMW owns Rolls-Royce.
Some of the Rolls-Royce cars , post BMW ownership –
2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost
2013 Rolls-Royce Wraith
The Rolls-Royce logo and hood ornament – the spirit of ecstasy.

DECAUVILLE – Locomotives to cars

Paul Decauville (1846 – 1922) of France was a pioneer in the development of light railway of narrow gauge section. One of the innovation was the portable sections of light narrow gauge tracks fastened to sleepers which can be laid quickly. These portable tracks became famous in mine railways and later in trench railway during the war time.
In 1875, the company – Societe Decauville, expanded in to manufacture of Rail cars and Locomotives. By 1897 , they decided to expand in to the manufacture of motor cars and the company Societe des Voittures Automobile Decauville was formed. The first car’s design was bought from designers Joseph Guedon and Gustave Cornilleau and the first Decauville Voiturelle was manufactured in the year 1897. The name Voiturelle was coined to differentiate from the Voiturette used by Leon Bollee.
The 1897 Decauville Voiturelle had a 2 cylinder De-Dion engine, transverse leaf spring in the front and independent suspension for the front wheels. It had no suspension for the rear wheels. These Voiturelles sold well and larger Decauville cars were made. A 1903 Decauville –

The Decauvile Logo –

As competition increased , Deacuville could not survive the onslaught of cheaper cars and the car manufacturing operation was closed down by 1910. The Railway & Locomotive operation continued.
Apart from Cars & Locomotives, Decauville is linked with two major Automotive brands – Rolls-Royce and BMW.
In 1903 , Henry Royce  bought a second hand Decauville and was not satisfied by its operation. He along with Charles Rolls decided to build a better car and thus born the famous marque – Rolls-Royce.
In Germany, the Decauvilles were manufactured under licence by a company called Wartburg. Wartburg later became Dixi, the forerunner of BMW.