The first V-8 engine was built around 1905 by Leon Levavasseur in France. The engine was based on his 1902 patent for a light gasoline V-8 engine. The engine was named "Antoinette" after the daughter of his banker.
An Antoinette engine was first used in speedboats in 1901. In 1905, it was built as a water-cooled engine containing 8 cylinders arranged in a "V." This engine generated 50 horsepower and weighed 110 pounds. The Antoinette V-8 engine was the most popular engine of Europe until about 1910.
Henry Ford introduced one of the first V-8 cars in the United States in 1932. The 1932 Ford V-8 Carbriolet had 65 horsepower and helped begin the era of the American car.