A former marine engineer, Ernest Ballot originally founded his company in 1910 in Paris to manufacture internal combustion engines for cars and stationary use.
By 1919 Ballot was producing complete chassis with exotic twin-cam multi-valve cylinder heads designed for racing. As well as entering the French, Italian, and Spanish Grand Prix, entries to the Targa Florio and Indianapolis 500 were also made, winning several events with spectacular performances. However, these machines were expensive and had a limited market, and from 1921 a 93mph 2LS road car was developed with twin-cams and 4 valves per cylinder. By 1923 the 2LT single cam was available to the British market, numbering about 1500 examples.