1892 – 1974
Émile Claveau (January 23, 1892 - May 10, 1974) was a visionary designer and car manufacturer renowned for his innovative approach to automobile design. Born in Langeais, Indre-et-Loire, he embarked on a journey that would leave a significant mark on the automotive industry.
A graduate of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, Claveau initially pursued a path in painting before venturing into the world of automotive design in 1923. Driven by his dissatisfaction with the conventional designs of his time, he sought to create vehicles that were both visually captivating and functionally advanced.
In 1926, Claveau made his debut at the Paris Salon, showcasing a series of groundbreaking car prototypes that demonstrated his obsession with aerodynamics and cutting-edge technology. Built by Émile Claveau in Paris, France, these creations stood out for their distinctive designs and technical prowess, setting new standards in the industry.
One of Claveau's most iconic creations, a prototype from approximately 1927, was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1928. This vehicle was an incredibly advanced concept, featuring a streamlined four-seat saloon design. It was equipped with a unique four-cylinder 'boxer' engine positioned in the tail, but ahead of the rear axle, effectively creating a mid-engine layout. The car's forward-thinking design was complemented by independent suspension on all four wheels, further demonstrating Claveau's commitment to innovation and superior performance.
Despite his remarkable designs and pioneering concepts, Claveau faced challenges in garnering commercial success for his creations. However, his dedication to pushing the boundaries of automotive design remained unwavering. In 1956, Claveau introduced his final creation, a prototype for a "5CV" model. This vehicle boasted a unique two-stroke, three-cylinder engine sourced from DKW, coupled with a four-speed gearbox. The car's unibody structure and innovative suspension system, known as "anneaux Neiman," showcased Claveau's constant pursuit of innovation and improvement.