Hotchkiss 16/20HP Type T Roi des Belges

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16/20HP Type T Roi des Belges





Hotchkiss cars were made between 1903 and 1955 by the French company Hotchkiss et Cie in Saint-Denis, Paris. The badge for the marque showed a pair of crossed cannons, evoking the company's history as an arms manufacturer.

The company's first entry into car making came from orders for engine components such as crankshafts which were supplied to Panhard et Levassor, De Dion-Bouton and other pioneering companies and in 1903 they went on to make complete engines. Encouraged by two major car distributors, Mann & Overton of London and Fournier of Paris, Hotchkiss decided to start making their own range of cars and purchased a Mercedes Simplex for inspiration and Georges Terasse, previously of Mors, was taken on as designer.

The first Hotchkiss car, a 17 CV four-cylinder model, appeared in 1903. The engine of the 20 CV type C was heavily based on the Mercedes Simplex except that wherever possible it used ball bearings rather than plain ones (including the crankshaft) and except the Hotchkiss drive. Six-cylinder models, the types L and O followed in 1907. Among these was the Type T, the firm's smallest model, which was introduced in 1907 and powered by a 3,119cc sidevalve four, which drove via a four-speed gearbox. The Type T was never as popular as the firm's larger models however, and production was relatively limited.

The ball bearing engines lasted until the 30CV type X of 1910. In that same year Hotchkiss moved into a smaller car market with the 2212cc type Z. The Type X6 of 1910 featured a six-cylinder, side-valve engine, the cylinders cast in pairs and displacing 4.8 litres. Ignition was by magneto and fuel was provided by just one carburettor – cooling was by the distinctive round honeycomb radiator which distinguished the marque Hotchkiss. The Type X6 - 27 were built in 1910 and 51 in 1911/12.

With the outbreak of World War I, the factory turned to war production and a subsidiary plant was opened in Coventry, England. Car production resumed in France 1919 with the pre-war types AD, AD6, AF and AG. During World War I, they produced machine guns and tested them from the factory roof.

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