When Wilbur Wright went to Paris prove to the French and all of the world that his Flyer could really do the feats credited to it, he was befriended by Leon Bollee. He stayed with Bollee's family, built the Flyer in Bollee's automobile factory, and they became fast friends. L. Bollee was the son of Amedee Bollee, maker of early steam carriages. Leon carried on his father's automobile making interest, but began using small gasoline engines when they became available, beginning in 1895. The three wheeled "voiturette" was entered in a 1896 Paris Merseille Paris race. It had three speeds, of 6, 12 and 18 mph, and was one of the fastest entrants in such races. Bollee had another vehicle that won the Paris-Deippe race in 1897 with a speed of 24 mph, and soon was winning races at 28 mph.
The three wheeler below sat two people, had a single cylinder of 650 cc, and generated 2.5 hp. Other models had a 3.5 hp engine, which is basically a lawnmower engine. Getting 24 mph out ofa lawn mower engine is not too bad.