FN 3,5 HP Victoria – 1900

The Belgian company FN was originally an arms factory. At the end of the 19th century it was taken over by a German firm, which decided to diversify and manufacture other products, including motorcars.

That little seat on the back of the FN cannot have been very comfortable. Although elegant to look at and of a refined design, it was not really intended for passengers but for the mechanic or ‘mécanicien’, who was still considered a servant at the end of the 19th century. After all, the driver couldn’t get his or her hands dirty when certain moving parts had to be oiled or, even worse, when a drive chain broke. It’s worth noting that the cranking handle had to be inserted through the spokes of the wheel.

The Belgian company FN, located in Liège, was originally an arms factory, the abbreviation standing for Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre.

The first FN automobile dates back to 1899 and had an air-cooled, 2.5 hp, twin-cylinder engine. The car exhibited (which is very well preserved) has a water-cooled, 3.5 hp engine. The model proved so popular that a 4.5 hp was introduced in 1900.

Louwman Museum

Den Haag - The Hague

Nederland - Netherlands

March 2013

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