14, boulevard Gambetta


For this rather complicated story, we leave the Rhône (69) to enter the Isère (38).

The company was set up in December 1969 with a capital of 30,000 F.
The shareholders were Gaston Allagnat of La Tour du Pin, and Cars Faure of Valencin, each with 50%.
The primary objective was to group under a single umbrella the rights to routes held by Allagnat and by Mr Poulet of Biol, although many of these were leased to third parties to operate. Initially, the rights would be exercised for three years from 01/01/1970 and then be tacitly renewable.

As a preliminary requirement, on 23/12/69, Allagnat and Poulet each signed a “contrat de location gérance” in favour of Cars Dauphinois, signing over their rights in exchange for an annual rental of 4,800 F for POULET and 12,000 F for ALLAGNAT.

The routes involved were clearly defined:

RIGHTS recognized as coming from ALLAGNAT

    1.    Routes subject to conditions outside the control of Allagnat – eg route to be taken, timings, fares.

Allagnat, Joanny  -  MORESTEL Morestel – Bourgoin
Via Sermerieu and Salagnon
1 Thursday
1 Friday

Darpheuil Claude – DOLOMIEU

Dolomieu – Lyon
Via Montcarra & St Savin

1 Daily
plus 1 Thurs and Sun
plus 1 summer Sat

Dubeuf Pierre – MORESTEL

Morestel – Bourgoin
Via Vézeronce & Olouise

1 Thurs and Fair days

Morestel – La Tour du Pin

Via Vézeronce

1 Tues and Fair days
plus 1 on winter Sundays

     2.    Routes not subject to conditions

Allagnat Joanny  -  MORESTEL

Morestel – La Tour du Pin
Via Vézeronce, Dolomieu

2 daily
plus 1 extra Tues, Sun and Bank Hols
contracted to carry post

Morestel circular

St Marcellin circular

Colomb  Louis    - ROCHETOIRIN Montcarra to La Tour du Pin 2 Tues and Fair days
1 Sat Sun & days before Bank Hols

Dubeuf – MORESTEL Morestel to St Benoît
Via Groslée
3 (daily?)
contracted to carry post

Montceau to La Tour du Pin
Via Le Grand Bois

1 Tues & Bank Hols
Moyne Berthon – COURTENAY Tirieu to Crémieu
Via Soleymieu  
1 Wed
1 Thurs and Fair days 

Allagnat also brought with him 5 excursion licences n°s 38 01 01 to 38 01 05. Of these the 38 01 04 exceptionally allowed picking up passengers in the Rhône dept as well as the Isère. 

RIGHTS recognized as coming from POULET

    1.    Routes subject to conditions outside the control of Poulet – eg route to be taken, timings, fares.

Poulet – BIOL 

Biol to Voirons
Via Chabons

1 Wed  1 Sat
2 on Bank Hols & Fair days

Biol to La Côte St. André

1 Thurs, 2 Bank Hols & Fair days

Biol to Le Grand Lemps

1 Tue & Sat, 2 Bank Hols & Fair days

Biol to Bourgoin 

1 Thu & Sat, 2 Bank Hols & Fair days

    2.    Routes not subject to conditions

F. Dechenaux – TORCHEFELON

Torchefelon to La Tour du Pin

1 Tues, Sun, Bank Hols and Fair days
Plus 1 more on winter Sun & Bank Hols

Torchefelon – Bourgoin – Ruy

1 Thu, Sat & Fair days

Bourgoin to Serezin de la Tour

2 Thu & Fair days

Poulet Louis – BIOL

Biol to La Tour du Pin

1 Tue, 3 Sun, 2 Bank Hols & Fair days

Fairs at Beaucroissant, Virieu and
La Milin


Rabatel Pierre

Bourgoin to Chabons
via Biol

contracted to carry post between Les Eparres and Bizonnes

Louis Poulet also brought with him 3 excursion licences, n°s 38402 to 38404.

An article in the Observatoire des Transports as late as December 1986 referred to it as an amalgamation of seven small businesses.

Almost immediately at the end of January 1970, Armand Louis Désiré  Poulet, born in Biol on 30/07/1911, and his wife Renée Joséphine Chavrot, born at La Tour du Pin on 12/03/1908, sold the goodwill of their transport interests to Cars Faure of Valençin for 60,000 F. A taxi business and a hearse for funerals were excluded from the deal.

We learn that the Poulet business had been built up over the years by:
24/09/1935    14,000 F    Acquisition from Jules Poulet and his wife (Louis’ parents?)
18/11/1942    50,000 F    Acquisition from Marie-Louise Besançon veuve Joguet
02/06/1955    300,000 F    Acquisition from the Dechenaux family of Torchefelon and Doissin

The final financial figures were:
1966    Turnover 199,832 F    Profit 50,378 F
1967    Turnover 231,112 F    Profit 40,449 F
1968    Turnover 263,173 F    Profit 58,858 F
1969 9m  Turnover 233,135   Profit 25,000 F estimated

In 1973, Cars PIEGA of Champier (38) was acquired and integrated into Cars Dauphinois.
In 1986, Cars Dubois of Pont de Beauvoisin was acquired and 4 years later was renamed Autocars Faure.
In 1992, Faure acquired the whole of the capital of Cars Dauphinois.
In 1994, Faure acquired Voyages du Guier of Pont de Beauvoisin, and merged it with Cars Dauphinois to become the present day Autocars Faure, which has depots at La Tour du Pin and Pont de Beauvoisin, and appears to retain some autonomy although it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between Autocars Faure and Cars Faure of Valencin.

Origins and personalities

So now we know what happened to Cars Dauphinois between its creation in 1969 and its demise in 1994, we can turn our attention to the origins of some of the routes, and the personalities involved.

His main route was Pont de Beauvoisin to Lyon via Chimilin and Corbelin, which the Ponts & Chaussées referred to as route 61.

Pont de Beauvoisin in tramway days
Pont de Beauvoisin in tramway days

In 1932, it was operated by two vehicles of unknown make:
6088 HK 2    26 seats + 6 standing
6667 HK 1    32 seats + 12 standing
In 1937 these were replaced by:
4922 HK 4    Saurer 1CRD        chassis 42249    21 seats       Lyon permit 154
2524 HK 3    Berliet PC6        chassis 46706    27 seats     Lyon permit 191
After the war, he was authorized to revert to his pre-war frequency of 2 daily returns, on 16/11/1949.

Dubois letterhead in 1950
Dubois letter-head in 1950

Dubois timetable 1953
Dubois timetable in 1953

In 1965, Henri Dubois passed away. The business was converted to a limited liability company, Cars H. Dubois et Cie, place de la Poste, Pont-de-Beauvoisin, and the heirs – his widow, Fidéline MURIT, daughter, Renée DUBOIS épouse ROSTAING, and son Georges DUBOIS, born on 16/01/32, became the shareholders.

The intangible assets were the Lyon route as previously recorded, and an assortment of excursion licences, summarized as 3 for the Isère (58 to 60), one for Savoie (101) and 1 for the Rhône (380201).

There were also 2 schools circuits for the Lycée Nationalisé de Pont-de-Beauvoisin, one via Domessin and one via Chimilin and Romagnieu. And a licence for a travel agency – n° 63130 – issued on 23/04/1963. All the above was valued at 150,000 FRF.

Then there were the vehicles.
40 PQ 38      Berliet PHM     1964    valued at 110,000 FRF
474 LR 38    Berliet PHG      1962    50,000
133 KQ 38   Berliet PAH      1961    40,000
426 GS 38    Berliet PLH      1958    40,000
833 JA 38     Berliet PLH      1959    35,000
335 FX 38    Berliet PLR      1957    25,000
908 MQ 38   Berliet PLB      1956    23,000
515 MQ 38   Peugeot DHB   1964   15,000
392 NJ 38     Peugeot 404     1963    6,500
As recorded above, Faure subsequently acquired the business in 1986.

But before then, Dubois acquired another route of interest – Novalaise to Lyon.

Novalaise (Savoie)
Novalaise (Savoie) is a village of 2,000 inhabitants roughly
half way between Pont de Beauvoisin and Chambery.

In 1933, a Novalaise – Lyon route was run by Marius NEYRET, who lived there. His widow subsequently took over, but on 15/02/1935 she sold to Georges THOMAS, based at St. Bonnet de Mure (in the Isère at the time, now in the Rhône). With the sale went two vehicles:

1483 HK 1    Delahaye 83.59    chassis 22041    27 seats    Lyon permit 138
291 QN 1    UNIC M8C2          chassis 67066    27 seats    Lyon permit 140

Thomas was not long in selling on to André PACCARD, of St. Clair de la Tour, on 09/09/38, whereupon a certain stability was achieved.

Paccard 1949 timetable
Paccard 1949 timetable

Paccard 1952 timetable
Paccard 1952 timetable

Paccard sold to Cars Lafond of Lyon on 12/10/1961, at which time the service frequency was one daily return with a second on Mon/Sat/Sun/Bank holidays. The sale also included excursion licences for St. Genix and Pont de Beauvoisin.
And finally Lafond sold to Dubois on 01/12/1966. In 1971, the CTDs of Rhône and Isère were both in agreement to an additional Saturday return, after which no more is heard of this route.

The route from DOLOMIEU to LYON

Dolomieu is an unremarkable village of 3,000 inhabitants, less than 10 miles away from your writer. It is hard to believe in 2019 that 80 years ago, it merited the role of a terminus for a regular service from Lyon.

Dolomieu – the main square

We first hear of the route as it was in 1932, when in the hands of Joseph ARGOUD, of Vignieu (Isère). The Dolomieu terminus was at the Café Rojon, and the Lyon terminus at Place Bellecour, Café Chapuis.
The following timetables probably date from that year.

Argoud cover

Argoud timetable

On 21/10/1933 there was the usual complaint from OTL – unfair competition on the section Lyon – Bron, resolved as usual by a ban on local traffic on that section.

The route was classified at the Préfecture under reference 71E, and I learnt that Serie E applies to those routes supposed to have their Lyon terminus on the Cours Albert Thomas, and that leave Lyon along the route de Grenoble corridor.

As at 26/07/1934, Argoud was recorded by the authorities as having two Lyon parking permits (53 and 54) and as operating 3 vehicles:
2367 HK 1    Saurer 3 BH    Chassis 50094    31 seats plus 9 standing
1430 HK 3    Berliet PA8     Chassis 62551    37 seats
6089 HK 2    Berliet                                        26 seats plus 6 standing

But on 10/01/1934, Argoud advised the Préfecture that he had stopped running as of 30/12/1933, and supplied a “Déclaration de Substitution”, handing over on 30/01/1934 to Valentin PONCET of St. Savin.

Mr Poncet appears to have taken on the Saurer 3BH with permit 53. Below is a rudimentary timetable.

Poncet timetable

But this did not last long. On 28/04/1934, Poncet was replaced by a partnership of BILLEMATZ and ARGOUD, Mr Billematz presumably providing financial or technical assistance that had been lacking.

Then two new names enter the frame. On 07/08/1936 it is recorded that Mr ALLOIN had taken over from Argoud, whilst on 09/01/1937, Claude DARPHEUIL claims to be the operator as a result of the “Déclaration de substitution” dated 30/09/1936.

It needs to be understood that an individual at the time could be the proprietor of the rights to a route, without necessarily operating it himself. He could lease the route out to a third person. It is not always clear who is the owner, and who the operator, and there are discrepancies where the information available is incomplete.

The only reference during the war years is that on 04/03/1940, Mme Darpheuil, of rue Sébastien Gryphe in Lyon, wanted to lease the route to a Mr Demaille, domiciled in Vignieu. Claude Joseph DARPHEUIL had been called up for military service in the 14e Train des Equipages, Group 136, 753e Compagnie Automobile, and at the same time, his vehicle had been commandeered. Alloin had lent his wife a vehicle, but she preferred the idea of Mr Demaille  proposing to take over until the end of the hostilities. He did manage to operate from 1940 until 1943.

Things become a little clearer when on 11/06/1945 Claude DARPHEUIL sold the business to Jean ALLOIN for 50,000 F.
Claude Darpheuil, domiciled in Dolomieu, was born on 16/09/1912.
JC Alloin, domiciled in St Jean de Bournay, was born on 17/04/1896

The route Dolomieu – Montcarra – St. Savin – Bourgoin – Lyon was currently leased to Mme Marie-Louise Besançon, wife of Marc JOGUET, domiciled in Montalieu-Vercieu. She later continued operating when his widow.The lease dated from 02/09/1943 and the rental was 2,650 F per month. There was also a market day service from Dolomieu to La Tour du Pin on Tuesdays and Fair days.
Darpheuil had ceased operating the route himself in 1940, when it was first leased to Virginie Demaille  at a rental of 7,200 F per year, then to Mme Joguet as above.

The document says that Darpheuil acquired the business from Alloin for 28,000 F on 30/09/1936, and Alloin had acquired it from Joseph François Argoud on 16/07/1936 for the same price.

The key to this mystery is a document which states that in 1939, frequency on the route was 1 return per day with a second on Sundays, and that Claude Darpheuil had been specifically chosen by Alloin to own and look after the business while he, Alloin, was in the army on war service, with all the risks involved. It is possible that Darpheuil was Alloin’s nephew. Alloin survived the war safely.

The Alloin timetable for Dolomieu – Lyon in 1953
alloin cover
alloin timetable 1953

Alloin continued to operate until 27/12/1957 when he sold to Mr Allagnat, who immediately requested a small change in itinerary between Dolomieu and Montcarra in order to provide a service to Rochetoirin. The CTD agreed this.


Mr Alloin had another important route, from Lyon to Villette d’Anthéon (and Pont de Cheruy) which he had operated since 27/04/1931.

This fascinating document, though undated, must come from the war years.
It is an allocation chart for his vehicles, with the services operated on town gas clearly identified

allocation chart wartime

1933 and 1935 timetables for the Alloin route
Alloin timetable 1933

Alloin timetable 1935
Alloin timetble 1935

Alloin letter heading in 1939
Alloin letterhead 1959

In 1940, the Comité des Usagers wanted changes to timings _
Departures from Jonage      05.55    07.10    13.00    18.00
Departures from Lyon        08.00    16.00     17.30    19.10
There is no evidence that this was accepted.

In January 1941 Alloin was described as a sub-contractor  to the TOD (Tramways dauphinoises), and supposed routes included:
-    3 daily returns from Villeurbanne (Place de la Mairie) to Pont de Cheruy via Villette d’Anthéon, using 2 vehicles, both 35 seats plus 24 standing, one town gas, one diesel (see vehicle allocation chart above).

Villette d'Antheon
Villette d’Anthéon – place de la Mairie in 1908

In reality, he was running 2 daily returns to Pont de Cheruy, but leaving from Lyon Gare de l’Est, which was closed later in the 1950s, and two daily returns to Villette d’Anthéon, also leaving from Lyon Gare de l’Est. These four journeys were regularly overloaded.

Alloin was ready to add a fifth (see proposed timing on the vehicle allocation chart), but was put off by the queues at the Gaz de Lyon filling station at Perrache, the only place in Lyon to supply town gas for HGVs.

In February 1941, the Régie VFD wanted to purchase Alloin’s routes, a suggestion that had been agreed by the CRCD – Comité restreint de coordination départementale – in December 1940. The Régie intended to use 2 Berliet gazogène à bois with 35 setas and 10 standing (the maximum load for the limited power of the engine.

The trail stops there.

Cars Dauphinois Berliet

Cars Dauphinois Berliet PR14S at Venissieux in 1989 (photo caradisiac forum)

C. R. D’EATH  - 03/11/2019  

More imformation about pre-war bus services from the town of Bourgoin can be found here.

Note  -  this is a site of historical record and does not contain current service information
Nota  -  Il s'agit d'un site d'archives historiques et ne contient pas de données actuelles