Emile Darl'mat was the creator and owner of a Peugeot
Peugeot is a major French car brand, part of PSA Peugeot Citroën, the second largest carmaker based in Europe.The family business that precedes the current Peugeot company was founded in 1810, and manufactured coffee mills and bicycles. On 20 November 1858, Emile Peugeot applied for the lion...

 distributor with a car body business established at the rue de l'Université in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in 1923. In the 1930s the firm gained prominence as a low volume manufacturer of Peugeot based sports cars. Business was interrupted by war, but at least one prototype was kept hidden throughout the period and directly after the war Darl'mat returned to the construction of special bodied Peugeots, although in the impoverished condition of post-war France business never returned to the volumes achieved during the 1930s.

Building the business

The first cars were built at Darl'mat's workshops in Paris; however, during the 1930s the special bodied Peugeot-based coupés and cabriolets became increasingly integrated into the Peugeot range. During the second half of the decade, starting in 1936, Darl'mat's Peugeot-based coupes and cabriolets were built at the Peugeot plant in Sochaux
Sochaux is a commune in the Doubs department in the Franche-Comté region in eastern France.-Population:Inhabitants are known as Sochaliens.-Economy:...


The best remembered of the Darl'mats is a sports car
Sports car
A sports car is a small, usually two seat, two door automobile designed for high speed driving and maneuverability....

 based on the Peugeot 302
Peugeot 302
The Peugeot 302 is a mid-weight saloon introduced in 1936 Paris Motor Show by Peugeot and sold until 1938.-Background:The 302 was effectively a shortened version of the Peugeot 402 with a smaller engine...

: the engine
An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert energy into useful mechanical motion. Heat engines, including internal combustion engines and external combustion engines burn a fuel to create heat which is then used to create motion...

 was taken from the 402
Peugeot 402
The Peugeot 402 is a family car produced in Sochaux, France from 1935 to 1942 by Peugeot. It was unveiled in Paris Motor Show in 1935, replacing the Peugeot 401....

. Several Peugeot-Darl'mat 402 "spécial sport" models raced at Le Mans
24 Hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since near the town of Le Mans, France. Commonly known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, race teams have to balance speed against the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without sustaining...

 with success in 1937 and 1938. The cars were built in very limited numbers and three models - a roadster
A roadster is a two-seat open car with emphasis on sporty handling and without a fixed roof or side weather protection. Strictly speaking a roadster with wind-up windows is a convertible but as true roadsters are no longer made the distinction is now irrelevant...

, a coupe
A coupé or coupe is a closed car body style , the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time...

, and a drop-head coupe - were offered.

Post-war developments

After the war, the company produced a small two-door fastback coupé based on the Peugeot 202
Peugeot 202
The Peugeot 202 was an automobile from Peugeot. Production of the car ran between 1938 and 1942 and then, after a brief production run of 20 in early 1945, restarted in mid-1946...

. In 1947, with a team of drivers working in relays, this car appeared at Montlhéry and broke three speed records for the under 1100 cc class while using fuel at the rate of approximately 10.l/100 km (23.3 mpg.) The car managed 1,000 miles (1,609 km) at an average speed of 144.5 km/h (89.8 mph), 2,000 Miles (3,218 km) at an average speed of 145.0 km/h (90.1 mph) and achieving an average of 144.5 km/h (89.8 mph) over 12 hours. A few weeks later in October, this Darl'Mat 202 was exhibited in public at the Paris Motor Show. Despite drawing in the crowds at the motor show, it is not clear to what extent this design was developed into a car for general sale.

Better remembered are Darl'Mat's subsequent two-door cabriolet cars, these based on the Peugeot 203
Peugeot 203
The Peugeot 203 is a medium sized car which was produced by the French manufacturer Peugeot between 1948 and 1960.The car was exhibited at the Paris Motor Show in 1947, but by then had already been under development for more than five years...

; sources indicate that by early 1953 more than 150 of these Peugeot 203 Darl'mat conversions were registered.

Dating from April 1953 is a picture of a closed gull-wing style coupe prototype, evidently inspired by the Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Mercedes-Benz 300SL
The Mercedes-Benz 300SL was introduced in 1954 as a two-seat, closed sports car with distinctive gull-wing doors. Later it was offered as an open roadster...

. The company's final project as an aspiring auto-maker was a Peugeot 403
Peugeot 403
The Peugeot 403 is a car produced by French automobile manufacturer Peugeot from 1955 to 1966.-History:The 403 made its debut in saloon body style on 20 April 1955 at the Trocadéro Palace in Paris...

-based coupé, but only five were built. After this the business concentrated on the mainstream activity on which its owner had originally embarked in 1923 as a Paris based Peugeot dealer.
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