Page 1 of 2 Next >> Louis Mors and his two sons Emile and Louis were among the many automotive pioneers in France. They first built electric cars in the 1880s and early 1890s. They were captured by the internal combustion engine in 1895 when they raced a Panhard & Levassor in the Paris-Bourdeaux-Paris road race. A year later the first Mors motor car appeared, designed by Henri Brasier along the lines of the original Benz. Within a few years the Mors company built around 10 cars per month. Featuring V4 or flat 2 engines with water and air cooling, these little machines were quite advanced.
The Mors family had not forgotten about racing and had Brasier develop a racing car. Before he left the company in 1901, he oversaw the construction of the Mors 60hp Grand Prix racer. It featured a 10-litre V4 engine with magneto ignition. For 1902 the 60hp was updated and became one of the first cars to be fitted with shock absorbers, which greatly improved the handling. During the 1902 edition of the high profile Paris-Berlin rally, Henri Fournier Mors 60hp lasted just long enough to claim victory. The win brought world fame to Mors and order books quickly filled up.
The departure of Brasier left a big gap that was not filled right away. Mors soon lost their edge and sales dwindled. By 1905 the racing department was closed as the company recorded its first ever loss. In a desperate attempt to regain their market position, several new models were introduced, but it was to no avail. In 1907 Andre Citroën took charge of thevirtually bankrupt company. This Paris born engineer had made a small fortune with a gear-factory and now looked for a new challenge.
Citroën managed to turn Mors' fortunes around and by 1910 the company was profitable again. He also recognised the value of a successful racing program and re-opened the competition department. He developed a brand new racer for the 1908 Grand Prix at Dieppe, which was generally considered the most important race of the season. The rules were not very strict and only dictated a maximum bore of 155 mm and a minimum weight of 1100kg. Page 1 of 2 Next >>