Purchased 22nd August 2015 at Owls Head Auction Maine USA
Here is a short history of the car from the Grandson of the original owner:
Bebe Peugeot – 1913 Number 11198
My Grandfather, William E. S. Griswold, Sr. purchased the Bebe Peugeot mid June 1913 from an establishment on Broadway, NYC where the family lived during the winter. Gramps loved the Bugatti design of the car; it’s tiny but powerful engine, not to mention the two snazzy red leather seats, gas lanterns and a tiny klaxon. Gramps wanted this small, but rugged automobile to tour around his summer residence and neighborhoods in Lenox, MA without having to saddle a horse.
Gramps left NYC, drove for two days and arrived in Lenox exhausted, but thrilled to present his new automobile to the family. The next day, Gramps took all the family members and neighborhood kids for a ride. The elaborate suspension handled the dirt roads and fields with ease. With the top down and windscreen folded, everyone had a grand time. We found a photograph that Gramps took in 1916, showing our Grandmother, Mama Griz, surrounded by their growing family, all squeezed into the Bebe Peugeot.
The family left Lenox in 1922, and moved to Old Lyme, CT where the family had a farm. The Bebe Peugeot became the centerpiece of every 4th of July parade on the farm thereafter, thrilling the kids and adults alike. In 1953 my Dad, William
E.S. Griswold, Jr., restored everything, from the engine to the fenders, keeping all the original parts except for a new roof, tires and upholstery. When we moved to St. Paul, MN a few years later, the car went with us. A couple of pictures show how my three brothers and I continued the tradition of truly enjoying this family heirloom.
Two years ago, we celebrated the Bebe Peugeot’s 100th birthday. Once again, she led the 4th of July parade; all decked out with appropriate banners and costumed occupants. Given her age and need for minor repairs, we decided to bring the Bebe Peugeot to Maine to “enjoy life the way it should be.” We will be sad to see her leave the family, and yet comforted that a new owner will look after her every need in a manner that she deserves.
Peter L. Griswold 15-April-2015
I compiled the French Bebe Manual pages from the Peugeot Bebe Register into a book, click the front cover to download a copy
English translation thanks to Peugeot Bebe Register although they never answer emails…