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.”

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

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.

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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!

Click here to view this kinja-labs.com embed.

Image via De Dion-Bouton


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.