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Piece of art: 203 Dillmann

In 1950, Roger Dillmann started a garage in Mulhouse. He was one of the many mechanics in the city. Dillmann stood out because he designed and prepared racing cars. In 1955, Dillmann constructed a racer based on a Peugeot 203. It was quite daring to convert a decent 203 into a racer. The heavily modified 203 received racing homologation. Dillmann rode the first Turckheim – Trois-Épis hill climb with it in 1957.

However, the sporting career of this car was short-lived. Due to the rise of lighter and faster cars, the 203 Dillmann was unable to win any prizes and the striking appearance disappeared into the storage of the Dillmann garage. Decades later, the car was dusted off and completely restored by son Gérard Dillmann, together with Roger Ott. A special rendezvous, because Ott was the mechanic who had contributed to the design and construction of the car.

The model is built on the wheelbase of a 203, but much slimmer and lower in shape than a regular 203. The nose is lowered. so that the hood sits closer to the fenders. The fenders are, as in proportion to the entire design, slimmer in shape. The suicide doors have hinges on the outside, like the Sedan, but not like the Cabriolet, although the model does look a bit like that. The 203 has a noticeably long ‘butt’ and therefore seems a little out of proportion when we compare it with the Cabriolet from Peugeot’s own range. A striking racing fuel cap is mounted at the very back of the car.

Under the hood is an 8 CV engine from the Peugeot 403. Various adjustments have been made compared to the standard version of the engine, such as the pistons, camshaft, 2 Solex 32 PBIC carburetors and a Constantin compressor.

The grille appears to come from a Ford Vedette Vendôme and bears the designer’s initials, RG. The car stands on Robergel spoke rims, equipped with the Roger Dillmann butterfly.

The 203 Dillmann is a special creation and fortunately preserved for the future. After the restoration, the car was offered for sale at an online auction and sold for €114,000.

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