This Might Be The First Time Sex Sold Something On Wheels

Illustration for article titled This Might Be The First Time Sex Sold Something On Wheels

The De Dion-Bouton Motor Trike was one of the first motorized people-movers, and this ad is one of the first examples of a company using sex to sell a vehicle according to Curbside Classic. You’ve got to get a closer look at this thing in their great writeup of this wacky “pre-car.”

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But first you need to see that image in all its portrait-mode glory:

Illustration for article titled This Might Be The First Time Sex Sold Something On Wheels
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Looks like this masked joker has seduced a young lass into being his wheelman in some kind of heist. Or perhaps she’s one of those law-enforcer’s daughter dodging a stern talking-to after being caught in bed with a court jester. Did they still have those in 1897? Of course not, there are probably more than a few cultural divisions keeping me from understanding everything that’s going on here.

Either way, there’s also a goose (duck?), possibly a mime, and some high-quality shenanigans going down here.

Curbside Classic has taken the time to put together an excellent writeup of the 1897 De Dion-Bouton motor trike and it’s significance in automotive history. Stop trying to figure out if the woman in that picture is exposing a fraction of a nipple and give it a read!

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Image via De Dion-Bouton


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.

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guillaume-helary
Guillaume Helary

Those are classic Comedia Dell’Arte characters

- The “Jester” is Arlequin

- The girl is Colombine

- The “sad clown” in white shirt in the background is Pierrot

With the white outfit that one of the gendarme hold by the window, the easy interpretation is that Arlequin disguised as Pierrot seduced Colombine and went for “consumption” in the guesthouse, Pierrot called the gendarmerie (military police) to take the cheating lovers on the fact and Colombine and Arlequin flee onboard of the trique.

At the time adultery was a crime. Colombine is not a naive seduced by Arlequin, but rather the character outsmart him by quite a margin which explain why she’s the one driving.

More info on the archetypes:

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat%C3%A9… (in French)