The Gaston Garino Museum – De Dion Bouton is housed in an old wash house belonging to the city of Puteaux. Gaston Garino (deceased 10 2011) lived in Puteaux, where he had opened a workshop for the restoration of classic cars, and was particularly interested in the De Dion Bouton brand, which was based in Puteaux. He brought together an extensive collection of objects and documents about the brand, which allowed the opening of the museum. Managed by the Archives department of the town hall of Puteaux, the museum pays tribute to him and to the brand.
De Dion Bouton had a relatively short existence as a car manufacturer (roughly late 1880s to early 1930s), but the brand remains known unlike many other manufacturers of the turn of the century. Several factors can explain this. Undoubtedly, De Dion Bouton participated in the development of the automobile, and brought many innovations, such as the De Dion suspension, invented in 1899. This type of suspension has equipped cars all over the world, including Aston Martin, Ferrari or Maserati, and it is still found today on some models.
On the other hand, De Dion Bouton was a major manufacturer at the beginning of the 20th century, the first in the world in 1900 with 400 cars and more than 3000 engines that the brand was supplying to many manufacturers, and the De Dion Bouton cars were exported. Finally, the strong personality of the Marquis de Dion, co-founder of the brand, has undoubtedly also played on notoriety.
The Gaston Garino Museum is a small urban museum, only 5 cars are exhibited, but which allow to capture the rapid evolution of the automobile at the beginning of the 20th century. The 3 oldest models date from 1901-1902, and are vis-a-vis, classic configuration at that time, the benches facing each other, finally as in carriages or cabs. The comfort is rudimentary, with cars having at best a soft top covering half of the car. Note on the Type L the rear engine (practically in central position like the current sports cars), with the crank on the side.
The Torpedo Type EA of 1913 shows a visual progress in architecture and comfort, with a steering wheel, windshield and soft top protecting the entire car. In just a decade, cars took on the general shape they would keep, with a few exceptions, until the late 1930s. The last model was produced in 1923 in a landaulet style (closed cabin for passengers, open for the driver), here in taxi version.
Si De Dion Bouton est principalement connu pour les voitures, l’entreprise avait de multiples productions, que l’on retrouve présentées au musée : vélos, tricycles, moteurs vendus à d’autres constructeurs et pour d’autres usages, motopompes… De Dion Bouton avait produit des tricycles motorisés au 19ème siècle, et vendu ses moteurs à des constructeurs de motos.
While the company no longer produced cars, but still utilities, the Gaston Garino Museum exhibits a motorcycle and a moped corresponding to a small production of 2 wheels in the 1950s.The decoration includes many posters, photos and objects related to the automobile: gas pumps, tools, oil cans, accessories … and panels and photos take up the history of the brand.
With a keen sense of marketing, the Marquis De Dion published a small automobile magazine that presented his models, but also opened up to competitors. He had also launched a road map business in 1900, and produced the first tourist guides for motorists, an activity then sold to Michelin.
The guided tour also makes discover through photo prints several aspects of industrial activity and allows to realize the importance of factories and the organization of work.
|Guided tours at regular intervals, see schedule on the website|
|Limited number of places, reservation required|
|Opening possible by appointment for group visits|
Free access, reservation required
The photos on this page belong to Automobile-Museums, no use or reproduction is allowed without prior written consent of the owner.
The reproductions of historical photos on this page belong to the Service Archives of the city of Puteaux, no use or reproduction is allowed without prior agreement of the owner.
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