Who was the UNI engineer Juan Alberto Grive, who built the first car in South America?


Engineers at the beginning of the 20th century Albert Greve On my own, decided to build first peru carBecause those brought from Europe were suitable for driving only in the city, and not on the outskirts of the city, where there were no roads or highways.

The big challenge began with the help of a few operators. each of the mechanical components of innovative automobile, were designed and built in Grieve’s workshop, with plans made by himself: engine, chassis, transmission and differential. The only items that were to be imported were rims. Michelin (from France), Bosch ignition (from Germany), as well as carburetor.

Who was Juan Alberto Greve?

Born in Lima in 1877, Juan Alberto Grive Becerra studied mining engineering at the National School of Engineers (now). National University of Engineering) and although he graduated with honors at the age of 20, his vocation led him to mechanics and electricity.

In its time, this car was described as a “jewel of mechanical precision”. Photo: Turbo

Grieve had the gift of combining profound academic knowledge with the manual dexterity of the best mechanical worker, adding to his great convenience for drawing, both mechanical and spatial as well as artistic. So, when he completed his studies, he started devoting himself to manufacturing single-phase and three-phase electric motors of his own concept.

In addition, in the Municipality of Lima he worked as an engineer in filming, lighting and tramway inspection and was a founding member of the Peruvian Society of Engineers.

The first car in Peru and South America

Cars driving that one through Peru had six to eight horsepower, as it was believed that was enough for the city. However, due to the lack of roads and highways on the outskirts of the capital, the movement of these vehicles became difficult.

That’s why Grieve considered making a car with a high powered 4-cylinder engine that would be better suited to the context of our country. Thus, by the end of 1908, the engineer had completed his first automobile, which was designed and manufactured entirely in South America.

Due to its innovative design and finish, the vehicle was dubbed “a jewel of mechanical precision” and was compared to the Renault or Brazier, considered the best car of that century. The machine, in fact, reached 20 horsepower and 1,800 revolutions per minute.

first car in peru

Although historians Jorge Basadre and Juan Luis rego differ in the year of the first automobile’s arrival in Peru, both confirm that the leading vehicle to touch Peruvian lands was the Gardner Serpollet. The five-horsepower car was imported by miner Arthur Worthman for use in the mines of the city of Ancash.

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