Lucien Rosengart
Lucien RosengartLucien Rosengart (January 11, 1881, 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...

 - July 27, 1976) was a French engineer.

His early life was shaped by carriages and the advance of the automobile age. He first started working as a mechanic at the age of 12, and by age 24 he had a machine shop in Belleville
Belleville, Paris
Belleville is a neighbourhood of Paris, France, parts of which lie in four different arrondissements. The major portion of Belleville straddles the borderline between the 20th arrondissement and the 19th along its main street, the Rue de Belleville...

 and several patents to his credit. By 1914 his products included railway parts, bicycle parts, and a rocket that allowed artillery shell
Shell (projectile)
A shell is a payload-carrying projectile, which, as opposed to shot, contains an explosive or other filling, though modern usage sometimes includes large solid projectiles properly termed shot . Solid shot may contain a pyrotechnic compound if a tracer or spotting charge is used...

s to be exploded while airborne. This attracted the attention of the French Government and they set him up with two factories, one in Paris and one in Saint-Brieuc
Saint-Brieuc is a commune in the Côtes-d'Armor department in Brittany in northwestern France.-History:Saint-Brieuc is named after a Welsh monk Brioc, who evangelized the region in the 6th century and established an oratory there...

 - at this point he began working with Andre Citroën's company, which provided the shells. By the end of the first world war, he'd become a skilled businessman and helped both 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...

 and Citroën
Citroën is a major French automobile manufacturer, part of the PSA Peugeot Citroën group.Founded in 1919 by French industrialist André-Gustave Citroën , Citroën was the first mass-production car company outside the USA and pioneered the modern concept of creating a sales and services network that...

 stave off bankruptcy. Involvement with these companies led Rosengart to think of building his own car. He was already making bicycles.

Automobiles L. Rosengart

In 1927, he saw the opportunity to produce a very small car for a segment of the market in France that was not at that time being covered by any of the major players. He bought the old Bellanger factory at Neuilly
Neuilly-sur-Seine is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.Although Neuilly is technically a suburb of Paris, it is immediately adjacent to the city and directly extends it. The area is composed of mostly wealthy, select residential...


The early Rosengart cars were licensed copies of the British Austin 7
Austin 7
The Austin 7 was a car produced from 1922 through to 1939 in the United Kingdom by the Austin Motor Company. Nicknamed the "Baby Austin", it was one of the most popular cars ever produced for the British market, and sold well abroad...

. This model, the LR2, was dressed up in various ways using various styling techniques and remained in production for quite some time - surviving as the vastly facelifted LR4 and Vivor long after the British car had been consigned to history.

In the early 1930s Rosengart teamed up with the German manufacturer Adler
Adler (automobile)
Adler was a German automobile and motorcycle manufacturer from 1900 until 1957. Adler is German for eagle.-History:The Adler factory produced bicycles, typewriters, and motorcycles in addition to cars...

, offering license built copies of the Adler Trumpf and Trumpf Junior, small front-drive cars that bolstered its range. It also added a conventional rear-driven car along the lines of a stretched and widened Austin. The development of front-wheel drive models led to the elegant Supertraction model in 1937 - which competed with larger cars like the Peugeot 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....

 and the Berliet Dauphine for the first time in Rosengart's short history.

In 1936 Rosengart himself was in financial difficulties so he transferred the company to a new organisation, Societé Industrielle de l'Ouest Parisien (SIOP).

Unfortunately production of the Supertraction was never large, and the company was devastated by the Nazi invasion of France
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

. The company was able to survive the German occupation of France until after the war but did not produce cars during the conflict. After the war Rosengart, who had been in the United States, tried to guide his company back to the small cars that had made it a success in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Unfortunately, the major manufacturers of France were by then making very small, economical cars that were very well suited to the conditions of post-war France. The last Rosengart car, the Ariette, was produced from 1947 to 1954, but failed to sell. The company closed its doors in the summer of 1955, after failing to launch its new car, the Sagaie, a development of the Ariette with a flat-twin engine.

Lucien Rosengart died at his home in France.

External links

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