Tag Archive: Peugeot


John Marston (1836 – 1918) was a tin plate worker and was working in a factory making household articles. In 1859 , he created his own company John Marston Ltd to make household articles and black enamel lacquer.
John Marston was a keen bicycle enthusiast and expanded in to manufacture of bicycles in the year 1887. He sold his bicycles under the brand Sunbeam“. It is told that his bicycle was finished with high quality black enamel and golden strips that it was reflecting sunlight and hence the name sunbeam. Many new innovations followed during the next few years – chain slack adjusting mechanism, oil bath lubrication for chains, to name a few.
As a logical extension, John Marston started working on motorcycles. Death of an employee in motorcycle accident made Marston to move away from motorcycle ,  terming it as dangerous.
In 1899 , he started working on motor cars and along with the help of Maxwell Mabley- Smith created the first Motor car. A 1901 Sunbeam-Mabley
This car had unique design of seats facing in opposite directions on either side of a belt drive. More than 100 units of this cars were sold between 1901 and 1904.
A 1902 , Sunbeam –
By 1904, Marston started importing Automobile Darracq chassis and building bodies over it. In order to expand fully in to car business the car division was renamed as Sunbeam Motorcar Company, in 1905. The bicycle business remained with John Marston Ltd. Slow down in car business between 1907 and 1910 forced Marston to look in to Motorcycle business again and the motorcycle division was created in 1912.
In 1920, owning to financial troubles, Sunbeam Motorcar Company merged with Automobile Darracq to form STD Motors ( Sunbeam – Talbot – Darracq). The cars were branded as Sunbeam -Talbot.
STD Motors participated in racing and a Sunbeam with a 350 HP aircraft engine set the land speed record in 1920.
In 1924, Sunbeam introduced a 3-litre sports car with a six-cylinder engine , with twin overhead camshafts and dry sump lubrication , a major innovation of that time.
A 1924 , Sunbeam 3-litre –
A 19332 , Sunbeam 20 –
By 1935, STD Motors was in financial trouble and was taken over  by Rootes group. Rootes group was a major automobile group with many British marques – Hillman, Humber, Singer, Commar , Karrier etc, They integrated Sunbeam, Talbot in to the group and did badge engineering to bring out cars with various combinations.
Some of the famous Sunbeam cars under Rootes group were –
A 1948 , Sunbeam – Talbot –
A 1964 , Sunbeam Tiger –
Between 1964 and 1967, Rootes group was slowly taken over by Chrysler and formed Chrysler UK, which later became Chrysler Europe. Sunbeams and Talbots continued under Chrysler Europe.
By 1978 , the Sunbeam and Talbot marques were taken over by PSA Group (Peugeot) and the Sunbeam marque disappeared after 1981.

The Sunbeam Logos

The original Bicycle logo with Black enamel and Golden stripes –

Thomas Humber (1841 – 1910) was a British Engineer interested in improving the bicycle designs of those times. Humber was credited with inventing the safety bicycle  with the pedal driving the rear wheel. Later on, he pioneered same size wheels and diamond-frame design in bicycles.

A Humber Bicycle –

In 1869,  Humber and Company was created to manufacture bicycles. In 1892, Thomas Humber sold off his rights to Henry Lawson of Daimler (England). As a logical step , Humber was experimenting with motorization. In 1896 , they introduced motorized bicycle fitted with Pennigton engine. A 1904 Humber motorcycle –

Humber continued to excel in the motorcycle and motorized tricycles. Parrallely they were experimenting with cars. In 1898 they introduced the first car and followed up with another in 1899 –

This was followed with a car in 1903 , called the Humbrette

During the war , Humber manufactured aircraft engines and continued to manufacture cars after the war.

In 1928 , Humber acquired Commer and in 1929 they acquired Hillman.  In 1932 , the Rootes group acquired Humber. Rootes group was taken over by Chrysler in 1964 and in 1978 Chrysler(Europe) sold off to Peugeot. After 1976, the Humber marque slowly disappeared.

Some of the famous and well know Humber cars – Humber Pullman and Humber Sceptre.


The Humber logos –

PEUGEOT – Bi-cycles to Cars

Peugeot (Pronounced as P-ew-sz-oh) was an industrial empire by early 1800s. In 1882, Armand Peugeot (1849 – 1915) along with his cousin Eugene Peugeot decided expand in to Bi-cycle manufacture. By 1889 , they produced  tri-cycle steam car called Type 1. With some innovative boiler design by the then famous steam engineer , Serpollet , the size of the engine could be reduced.


1889 – Type 1 steam car

By the next year ,  Armand Peugeot was convinced by Emile Levassor that he should use Daimler engine in his cars. In 1891 , Peugeot introduced the Type 2 , fitted with Daimler IC engine.

1890/91 – Type 2 IC engine car

In 1895, Peugeot fitted Michelin solid rubber tyres in their racecars and in 1896 started manufacturing their own engines. With Eugene Peugeot moving out the company was renamed as Societe Anonyme des Automobiles Peugeot. Peugeot continued to build cars & bicycles with the likes of Ettore Bugatti designing racing cars & engines.

Some of the most famous Peugeot cars were Peugeot 205 & Peugeot 504, which were sold in large numbers across the globe.


The LION logo of Peugeot was created in 1858 and has undergone many changes – Below are the 1858 and the 2010 logos.



Peugeot is known for innovation and were one of the pioneers on the use of Diesel engines for Passenger cars. In the year 2011 , they introduced the World’s first Diesel- Hybrid – 3008 HYbrid4 car with the innovative concept of Diesel engine driving the front wheels and Electric motor driving the rear wheels.


In 1974/75, they took over Citroen and the group was renamed as PSA (Peugeot Societe Anonyme). In 1978, they took over Chrysler , Europe (formerly Clement-Bayard, Talbot, Rootes & Simca) and branded those cars as Talbot.

Peugeot continues to one the Top 10 vehicle manufacturer in the world today.

Louis Francois Rene Panhard ( 1841 – 1908 ) and Emile Levassor (1843 – 1897) formed a car making company in 1887 with the engine licensed from Daimler.

In 1890 , they produced their first car powered by a 2 cylinder Daimler engine, mounted in the middle.

In 1891 , they produced the next car with a completely new layout , with the engine & radiator in the front , driving the rear wheels through a clutch and transmission. This layout became the standard architecture for the automobile for the next 100 years, called the Systeme Panhard.

The logo of Panhard et Levassor

Panhard and Levassor has been involved in many automotive innovations including using the famed Sleeve Valve, Kinight engines in their cars in the 1920s. Another major innovation was the invention of the track bar to locate the rear axle in multi-link suspension designs, aptly called the Panhard rod.

Panhard & Levassor was taken cover by Citroen in 1965 and the car brand was retired in 1968. One of the last cars made by Panhard & Levassor was a Panhard 24 CT.

Panhard & Levassor continued to make tactical & military equipment for the French Army and was merged with PSA group when Peugeot took over control of Citroen during 1974 . In 2005, Panhard was acquired by Auverland, another major military equipment manufacturer and the Panhard name lives on.