The French brand from Alsace was among the very first companies to manufacture automobiles. Established since 1896, they were also one of the earliest brands to make it into Portugal during the pioneer times.
Peugeot came into its own as a manufacturer when the company started making engines in 1897, abandoning the Daimler units, which were produced under license by its Gallic rival, Panhard et Levassor.
Soon after in 1897, the Type 19 was launched, with a Victoria-style body. In the early period of automobile manufacture, chassis’ were adapted from ones used as horse-drawn carriages, and they were aptly named as such to reflect this—with names like Break, Phaeton or the Landau.
The Type 19’s Victoria style bodywork has two rows of seats, the second of which is protected by a small canopy, intended for owners who were less eager to drive or to protect ladies from bad hair days.
In the early days, the main enemy of the pioneering motorists was dust, so the protection offered by the then very fashionable demi-capote was less than brilliant. Carmakers would have to step up their passenger comfort if this new form of transport was to catch on.
Speaking of comfort, Peugeot was the first to fit pneumatic tyres to a car, this novelty being produced by the Michelin brothers. Pneumatic tyres were an optional extra for the Type 19, replacing the rudimentary solid rubber bands.
The engine of the Type 19 is placed behind and under the second row of seats, and the driver had the awkward pleasure of sitting behind the steering wheel in a completely vertical position.
The most used controls were the accelerator (on the right), the ignition (on the left), and satellites at the wheel. The driver could also regulate the ignition by advancing or retarding it using a set of nozzles.
Pedals controlled the clutch and brakes, and on the right, coming out from under the engine, we have the gear lever which operated the four-speed gearbox.
This magnificent specimen of the Type 19 has been painstakingly restored over twelve years by Museu do Caramulo. The restoration employed the use of high-quality materials, such as the leather for the seats and the wood.
Of the 75 Type 19’s produced, very few have survived. This one being both a testament to the pioneers of motorsport and the conservation of automobile heritage led by the Museu do Caramulo.