In Cars

Turcat and his brother-in-law, Simon Mery, had begun experimenting with Daimler-engined Panhard and Peugeot cars in the early 1890s in their home city of Marseille, before building a car of their own design in 1896. Turcat and Mery first offered a car for sale in 1898. By 1901 the company struggled with financial problems.

At the same time Baron Adrien de Türckheim, whose father had married into the de Dietrich family – one of the oldest manufacturing companies in France, which ventured into automobile in 1897 – and who ran the Lunéville factory, was tasked to find a more advanced design. He saw the Turcat-Méry at a 1901 automobile meeting and a year later he set up a very flexible licence agreement, under which Turcat and Mery agreed to design for de Dietrich, while retaining their own factory in Marseille.

The designs produced by the two firms were almost identical, though the Marseillaise vehicles seemed to have a slight edge on performance. This duplication of design proved especially useful, in the 1904 Gordon Bennett Eliminating Trials in which manufacturers were only permitted teams of three cars. De Dietrich and Turcat-Mery kept to the absolute letter of the rules by entering a team of three cars each – but the cars were of almost identical design, save that the rated horsepower of the Turcat-Mery cars was 100 while the de Dietrich entries were of 80 hp.

Henri Rougier and his Turcat-Mery emerged from the trials and he finished third during the race – the last major motorsport event for the company.

DeDietrich attended the Gordon Bennett Cup on their own next year.

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