Peugeot 402 Darl’Mat


  • Foreshadowing its competitive versions, the automobile first presented in 1935 was the beginning of a most productive collaboration between Emile Darl'Mat, Georges Paulin and Marcel Pourtout.
  • With its particularly aerodynamic bodywork and small 4 cylinder engine it was able to keep pace with significantly more powerful automobiles.
  • Emile Darl'Mart was widely perceived as a wizard of engineering, and brought soul to a small modified series that would bear his name.

The Darl'Mat Peugeots were conceived in the middle of the 1930s at a meeting of three talented men: designer and inventor Georges Paulin, coach builder Marcel Pourtout and dealership owner Emile Darl'Mat. Clear symbols of elegance and performance and a reference point in the tradition of French coach-building, they would shine just as well in the many concours d'élégance as at the tracks of Montlhèry and Le Mans racetrack.

Marcel Pourtout, born in 1894, started his career in the automobile industry very early on, notably with the famous Darracq and De Dion constructors. At the end of the First World War, after having worked for the Aubertin coach builders, he opened his first coach building workshop in Bougival near Paris, an enterprise that brought him quick success. Shortly afterwards, Pourtout met Emile Darl'Mat - a prominent Peugeot dealership owner. The latter had started to concentrate on Peugeots as early as 1923, after the sale of the La Buire automobile company. His aim was to provide his clients with numerous options that would improve the performance and aesthetics of standard factory models.

The third man, Georges Paulin, a dental technician by trade, was also a talented draughtsman and the inventor of the retractable hardtop coupé-cabriolet concept. This invention would be patented in July 1932 as the Éclipse system, which would have to wait until 2001 before reappearing on a production vehicle, the 206 CC series. Paulin met Pourtout, who seemed enthusiastic about this novelty, to the point of asking him to design an Éclipse coach work for a Hotchkiss chassis in 1933, as part of a project commissioned by one of his clients.

To be continued...