Émile Levassor was a French engineer and a pioneer
An innovator in a general sense, is a person or an organization who is one of the first to introduce into reality something better than before. That often opens up a new area for others and achieves an innovation.-History:...
of the automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...
industry and car racing in 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...
BiographyGraduated at École Centrale Paris
École Centrale Paris
École Centrale Paris is a French university-level institution in the field of engineering. It is also known by its original name École centrale des arts et manufactures, or ECP. Founded in 1829, it is one of the oldest and most prestigious engineering schools in France and has the special status...
, he started his career in 1872 in a company that produced wood-working machines, where he met René Panhard
Louis François René Panhard was a French engineer, merchant and a pioneer of the automobile industry in France....
. They were building gas engines as well. In 1886, a Belgian
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...
industrialist Edouard Sarazin got a license for building engines of Gottlieb Daimler
Gottlieb Daimler was an engineer, industrial designer and industrialist born in Schorndorf , in what is now Germany. He was a pioneer of internal-combustion engines and automobile development...
. He chose Levassor to build them in France. When Sarazin died in 1887, Levassor married his widow, Louise, and together with Panhard they started building cars. The first appeared in 1890, with an engine built in Daimler license. Levassor also took part in auto racing, finishing fifth 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...
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...
race in 1894, and arriving first in (but not winning) the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race the following year (both in his own cars). In 1896, when taking part in the Paris–Marseille–Paris race, he got seriously injured in a crash when he tried to avoid hitting a dog. He never recovered from the injury, and died in Paris the following year.