by Daniel Cabart and Gautam Sen, with photography by Makarand Baokar
and contributions from Karl Ludvigsen and David Burgess-Wise

The fastest car in the world in 1919!

Four Ballot racers – featuring cutting-edge, straight-eight engines with DOHC and four valves per cylinder – entered the 1919 Indianapolis 500 race, but came away with results that belied their potential. However, triumphs soon followed, including a second place at the 1921 French Grand Prix, a win at the first Italian Grand Prix a couple of months later, and then further successes in over 300 races and hillclimbs.

Ballot racing engines were copied by Miller, Offenhauser and Sunbeam, and inspired Duesenberg. The Ballot sports cars were an inspiration for the Bugattis, Alfa Romeos, Bentleys, Delages and other specialised, high-performance production cars that were to take the sporting world by storm in the later 1920s, and they were unarguably the ancestor of all modern sports cars, being the first to be produced in series with a twin overhead camshaft engine and four valves per cylinder. Prominent coachbuilders, from H.J. Mulliner to Figoni, clothed their sporting chassis with imaginative designs, many of which are featured in these volumes.

This book is about Ballot the company and its founder, Ernest Ballot, as well as paying tribute to Ernest Henry, the man behind the engines, and the many brilliant racers, designers, and innovators associated with Établissements Ballot, one of the greatest of all French automotive marques that time has almost forgotten.

View sample pages from the book by clicking here.

Dalton Watson Fine Books is pleased to announce this major two-volume work on the history and cars of Ballot.
The 920-page set is due to be published in March, 2019.

• $350 USD
• Two volumes in dust jacket with slipcase
• Page count: Vol. 1: 448, Vol. 2: 472
• Images: 
1650 images
• ISBN: 

Topics covered include:
• Monsieur Ballot and His Company
• Ernest Henry
• The Technology of Ballot Grand Prix Engines
• The Races: 
Including the 1919 and 1920 Indianapolis 500, 1921 French Grand Prix, 1921 Italian Grand Prix, Gaillon Hillclimb, Targa Florio, Brooklands and more…
• The Racing Ballots: 5/8LC, 3/8LC, 2LS
• The Ballot Road Cars: 2LT, 2LTS, RH, HS-26
• Ballot Motorcycle, Stationary and Marine Engines and more!

The Authors

The Authors Gautam Sen (right) and Daniel Cabart (left) at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille Event, in June 2019.

Daniel Cabart

An inveterate collector of automotive-related documents for more than three decades, Daniel Cabart has always been passionate about automotive history. A specialist on Delage, having restored three of them, Cabart has written several books (with more on the way), based on thousands of documents and period images detailing the marque’s history.Given Cabart’s passion for Delage, he has also been able to help with the preparation of several other books authored by historian friends on Saoutchik, Lorraine-Dietrich, Kellner, etc. Of considerable interest to Cabart is the Ballot marque, as it was closely linked to Delage from the pre-1914 period as the latter’s main engine supplier.Besides writing three books: Delage: France’s Finest Car (with Claude Rouxel and David Burgess-Wise) published by Dalton Watson Fine Books, Delage: Champion du Monde 1927 and Louis Delage, la passion de l’Automobile, Daniel regularly writes for L’Automobible, the Delage Owners club magazine, and also contributes to Automobilia, L’Aventure de l’Automobile and several other magazines.Daniel Cabart has won recognition with his writing: the Cugnot award from the Society of Automobile Historians (2006), Prix Bellecour (2006) and the Royal Automobile Club award for the Motoring Book of the Year in 2017.

Gautam Sen

Fascinated by model cars and automobiles since he was a young boy, Gautam Sen turned his passion into a career. He established India’s first newsstand automobile magazine Indian Auto in 1986, followed by Auto India in 1993, and then the Indian editions of German auto motor und sport and BBC’s TopGear magazines. Sen has also been involved with the Indian automobile industry, working with Maruti Udyog as well as several other prominent automobile companies, and was instrumental in the design and development of India’s first sports car, the San Storm. Whilst working on several design projects, Sen had the privilege of collaborating with eminent designers such as Gerard Godfroy, Marcello Gandini and the late Tom Tjaarda.Since 2015, Sen has been a Vice President with FIVA (Fédération Internationale de Véhicules Anciens). He has also been a member of the jury at several prestigious historic vehicle events such as Le Mans Classic, Chantilly Arts & Elegance, Pays de Fougères International Rally and YanQi Concours d’Elegance. Sen has authored several critically acclaimed books on automobiles: The Maharajas & Their Magnificent Motor CarsThe Car Design BookRolls- Royce 17EX: A Fabulous DestinyA Million Cars for a Billion PeopleThe 101 Automotive Jewels of IndiaMarcello Gandini: Maestro of DesignThe Bertone Collection and Ballot (the last three published by Dalton Watson Fine Books).

Testimonials Quotes

“Thank you so much for the lovely book on Ballot. An opportunity to discover an important brand and fascinating stories.”

Piero Mancardi Owner of Touring/Supperleggera

“What a fantastic job you did with Gautam and Daniel. I am very happy that Retromobile was somewhere the beginning of this adventure.”

Francois Melcion Director of Retromobile

“I think it’s a HUGE good work!”

Rafael Pueche The Spanish Historic Car Specialist

“I have only just had the chance to sit down and enjoy it for a few minutes…that became an hour! What a splendid production and the quality of the period photos and the amount of work that has gone into it is literally amazing”

Peter Bradfield Specialist in selling classic, sports & racing cars

“It is truly a magnificent and very well documented work, the type we need so badly to keep protecting, preserving and promoting world motoring heritage. Coup de chapeau to the writers too!”

Patrick Rollet President of FIVA

“Huge congratulations to all who were involved – it’s a true masterpiece! The quality of the images and incredibly detailed research is really amazing!”

Jonathan Procter Expert Classic Cars

You have done what none others have done—you’ve combined the facts, the history, the essence of the Ballot marque AND you’ve published countless photographs, probably many never seen before, to literally illustrate the facts as written. It’s a jewel of a publication, and I congratulate you on not only its content, but the quality.

Diane Brandon Rolls-Royce and Bentley Specialist