|De Dion Bouton c1900|
He was ever on the watch; and even now was thinking of reverting to the construction of little motors, for he thought he could divine in the near future the triumph of the motor-car.
Emile Zola – Paris (1898)
Zola’s character here was a successful bicycle manufacturer feeling the heat of competition. Even by 1898 it must have been obvious how significant the development of the car could be, but perhaps only to some and only in the big cities.