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Everyone Likes a Little Tyke – The Bebe Peugeot


The Bebe Peugeot was the perfect car to clown around with and Frank Clarke, a stunt flyer in Hollywood during the twenties and thirties, can be seen doing just that here in a pair of photos, taken in February of 1921. But putting all fun aside, it was actually a car designed for a purpose by no less than Ettore Bugatti. It was introduced by Peugeot during 1912 as their entry into the cycle car craze, which was sweeping the automobile community on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean at the time.

  •  Bebe2      Bebe3      Bebe4
  •               Circuit du Mans – The “Automobile” – Circuit de la Sarthe

The Bebe as it has been nicknamed was built between the years of 1913 and 1916 and was aimed at economy motoring and lower road use taxes. It featured an 850cc, ten HP T-head engine, with a 2-inch x 3.5-inch bore and stroke. The engine block and crankcase, which used a removable lower oil pan was cast in one piece, it was initially backed-up with a two speed transmission that was later replaced by a three speed unit. Top speed of the little car was limited to 37 MPH. Some three thousand were made during the production run.

The pint-sized car was raced in cycle car events that were popular at the time, and one was even reported to have won its class at the famed French Mont Ventoux Hill Climb. Full details can be found in The Automobile, October 31, 1912 issue above. Photos courtesy of the San Diego Museum of Air & Space and the French National Museum.


5 responses to “Everyone Likes a Little Tyke – The Bebe Peugeot

  1. The Bebe Peugeot was popular beyond the number of them produced and sold. That shape you see in all sorts of French memorabilia. In liquor advertising, all the way to a smoking pipe bowl, the image is “iconic”

  2. In a Charles Chaplin movie ‘A Days Pleasure’ (1919) you can see a glimps of a Peugeot Bebe in a background traffic. So it seems they were also marketed in the US.

  3. Hello !

    For years I daily read your wonderful blog, because I am a car enthusiast and am archivist at the Citroën and Peugeot Archives Center near Sochaux.

    I don’t find your e-mail address, that is why I post here, I hope it is correct.

    Maybe the following press release can be interesting four your readers and customers ?

    I wish you all the best for now and thanks again for your useful activities !

    « Press release from the association L’Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS

    The association L’Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS was created in 2015 to preserve the heritage of all PSA Group brands and expanding and developing that heritage across the world.
    The Association represents over 200 years of history and consists of several heritage operations, L’Aventure Peugeot, Citroën Heritage, DS Héritage, L’Aventure Peugeot Museum in Sochaux, The Conservatoire Citroën-DS in Aulnay, L ’Aventure Automobile in Poissy and The Archives centre based within the Terre Blanche site in Hérimoncourt.
    L’Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS, does employ a team of dedicated staff supplemented by a network of volunteers, often former employees of Groupe PSA, in its daily operations. These staff are active across all the sites supplying Advice, Certification, Restoration, Archive Identification, Event Organisation and Public Relations. Their experience and knowledge of the PSA Group guarantee an excellent service across every field that we represent.
    The records of Citroën, Panhard and Peugeot cars are held in our archives, it is possible (if the car is original) to provide some birth certificate.
    At least there is :
    – Date of manufacture
    – Body version (Sedan, Roadster…)
    – Finition (DS Pallas…)
    – Confirmation if the provided numbers (engine, body, bodyshell) match together.
    If the car was built after the seventies, there are other details :
    – Version (2 CV CHARLESTON…)
    – Color
    – Name of the dealership
    The amount of information available about your car varies depending on its brand, model and year. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

    Please note that currently the 1972-1978 Citroën Invoices are not available, due to economic reasons. Hopefully they are safely stored in thousand of boxes on heavy pallets.

    You can apply here @ contact-avpcd@mpsa dot com

    Our team remains at your disposal to facilitate your registration and restoration of your classic car. »

    Cordialement/Best regards.

    Guillaume KELLER
    Employé du Service Identification Véhicules
    Association l’Aventure Peugeot Citroën DS
    Centre d’Archives d’Hérimoncourt
    34, rue du Commandant Rolland

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