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1894 Grand Prix Season

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1894 Grand Prix Season
Photo Credit: Public Domain.
Champion Constructor: None
Putative Constructor: Peugeot Panhard Daimler (FR,0,1)
Champion Driver: None
Putative Driver: Count Jules-Albert de Dion (FR,0,1)
Putative Constructor Entry Specification: Model Type 5, .565 liter, twin-cylinder Panhard Daimler, OHV, 2 to 3 horsepower (Armand Peugeot, Léon Serpollet).

The world changes forever in 1879 after German automotive pioneer Karl Benz designs and develops a single-cylinder, four-stroke air pump engine that solely runs upon distilled petroleum as its energy source. The Germans, French, and Italians each swiftly seize upon the new invention and soon thereafter begin the eternal humanistic pursuit for speed. A French Peugeot Panhard Daimler emerges at the historic maiden Paris-Rouen automobile contest in July 1894 as the first primary combustion automobile to take on the steam machines and lays claim to winning the first putative constructors' title in motorsport history. French Noble Count Jules-Albert de Dion actually crosses first in the seminal event in his eponymous steam-propelled conveyance. The French and its makes dominate European motorsport for the succeeding decade. Karl Benz receives a USA patent for his gasoline powered automobile in June. Existing Suppliers: German Continental (1871). Italian Pirelli (1872). British Dunlop (1888). French Michelin (1889). Racing Evolution: Atmospheric-hosted gas-fueled internal combustion engine (Otto, 1864). Compressed charge four-stroke engine (Otto, Daimler, Maybach, 1876). Self-propelled motorcycle with single cylinder engine (Daimler 1885). Self-propelled 'Motorwagen' automobile (Benz 1886). Four-cylinder configuration (Maybach 1890). Front engine configuration, rear wheel drive, clutch operated gearbox (Panhard et Levassor 1891). Detachable rubber-pneumatic tires from wheel rims (Michelin 1891). Compressed charge, compressed ignition engine (Diesel 1892). Phoenix engine with early carburetor design (Daimler 1892). Four-wheeled carriage chassis bodies (1894). Two-cylinder engine configuration (1894). Half-liter displacement engines (1894). Overhead valve design (Peugeot 1894). Steering wheel (Panhard et Levassor 1894). Existing Racing Makes: German Benz (1883). French De Dion Bouton (1883). French Serpollet (1886). German Daimler (1890). French Panhard et Levassor (autos 1891). French Peugeot (autos 1892). New Racing Makes: French Rochet Schneider.

HeM applies the Putative Model to all racing seasons for two primary purposes: First, to effectively normalize all racing seasons for empirical comparison across the decades, and second, to step clear of series organizers which score season championships primarily out of commercial interest or to attract manufacturer participation. The Putative Model simply scores all seasons in the same fashion as a standard track and field meeting, with the only purpose of tracking what takes place at the finishing stripe If the Putative Champion differs from the nominal Series Champion, please note the (SC) notation below.

Peugeot Panhard Daimler14     C. J. De Dion (stm)12
De Dion Bouton12     Lemaitre8
Panhard Levassor5     Doriot5
     Panhard3
     Levassor2
     Kraeutler1

Noteworthy 1894 Races

1894 I Paris-Rouen Grand Prix Rouen, France1894 1894 I Paris-Rouen Grand Prix At Rouen, France for the Paris-Rouen race (127 kilometers) in July, the race comes to a French De Dion Steam Wagon under the Comte Jules Albert de Dion (FR) in 6:48:00 (hours:minutes:seconds, average 11.6 mph), three and a half minutes ahead of a Peugeot entry. The race, largely run over unpaved roads and surfaces, stands out as perhaps the first motorsport endeavor designed to compare the relative fitness and performance among automobile manufacturers and their products. Of immediate import stands the runner-up French Peugeot Daimler Type 5 under Albert Lemaítre, which wins the automobile internal combustion classification in 6:51:30. Despite the superior speed and endurance of the Steam Wagon, many minds in the engineering community already foresee the limitations of steam propulsion for practical motoring in the automotive future. Photo Credit: Public Domain.