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Quiz Archive

About Quiz # 318: Bedelia!


bedelia 1913_300As expected this was not the most difficult quiz, despite the lack of parts in view. The answers flooded in! We received some very interesting answers, which we don't keep away from you. Following some excerpts of answers by various competitors.
"These are without doubt the mortal remains of a French cyclecar colloquially know as a "Praying Mantis" but more correctly a Bedelia. The cycle-car was manufactured by the Bourbeau et Devaux Co in Paris from 1910 to 1925. A Bédélia won the 1913 Cyclecar Grand Prix held at Amiens. The rear wheels were driven by belts . The legend says that this car saw life after a motorcycle accident; the remains of the motorcycle made the base of this car.

Tandem seats, 1- or V2-cylinder engines gave „power" enough for courageous 70 km/h. 2 speeds by change of the belt between 2 rear wheel discs was only possible during run by near collaboration of driver and co driver. The front-axle had center-swivel steering. Belt driven tandem seater. Two speeds (by changing diameter of driven pulley), single coil spring on middle of front axle, leaf springs on rear, steering as on horse drawn carriages, front axle is rigid and the hole axle turns over it's central point. They even had a ambulance version in WW1 with a stretcher mounted on the nose in front of the driver! In 1920 Bourbeau & Devaux sold the manufacturing rights to M.Mahieux who made modifications including seating two passengers side by side, still ahead of the driver."

As most information is easily available online when you look for Bedelia, we always tend to look for the answer with the 'unexpected extra'. As -like always- the question is 'What is it?' we decided to announce as this weeks winner Ariejan Bos who took the opportunity not only to identify the remains but also to discuss the remains itself. Congratulations Ariejan! Read his answer under 'Read More'
We like to mention all other people who had the name of the Marque right: Sylvain, Julien Ance, Tim Gunn, Ariejan Bos, Fritz Hegemann, Mike Costigan, Fred de Mol, Paul Newman, Gareth Morgan, Saulius Venclovas, Fer Cools, Jean Marie Gillen, John Kent, Korneel van Remortel, Kaspars Dortans, Gerard Lansink and jury members Bas de Voogd, Paul Linster, Fried Stol.

Winning answer by Ariejan Bos: "Based on the appearance of the rear axis and wheels with belt pulley, combined with the car description, Bédélia seems the logic answer. The pointed hub-nut on the rear wheel is present in some cases, but not always and therefore is not a real distinguishing feature. The bare front axis (which on the photograph seems to be hanging between the spokes of the front wheels) supports the Bédélia assumption: the axis is undivided and thus the steering can only be effected by pivoting around a central pin.
However, the metal construction mounted on the front axis puzzles me: I cannot find any example of this. All pictures of Bédélias I observed but one show a front axis stabilized by a light, fuselage-like construction. The exception has a front axis which is a mix of the puzzle picture and the standard Bédélia (cf. the accompanying picture, which by the way has a different transmission arrangement; this photograph appeared in the Scientific American of Aug. 9, 1913). So possibly the puzzle picture axis has suffered some later modification/adaptation."

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Jury Member Location Information

Bart Oosterling NL
Bas de Voogd / Rutger Booy NL team
Bob Swanson USA Sports Cars & Racing Cars
Carleton Hughes USA
Ced Pearce South-Africa Ford & Cord
Chris Paulsen USA Brass Era (pre-1916) cars
David Green NZ
Dick Trenk (deceased 2010) USA US cars
Dominique Barbault F French Cars
Don Edwards USA US Classics
Eduard Hattuma NL
Fons Alkemade NL French automobiles
Frans Vrijaldenhoven NL Dutch Automobile Historian
Fried Stol NL
Hans Compter NZ
Harry Schley Germany
Henk Visscher NL Firsts in Car Industry
Ian Hayhurst Canada pre-1916 autos / early Mopar
Ingo Jost Germany German Cars
James Helms USA
João Pedro Gazineu Brazil
John Barringer UK
John Robins UK
Jon Baker Australia
José A. Gómez Argentina
Josef Kubista CZ
Joseph P. McCormick USA
Kit Foster USA US cars 1920-1960, Stanley Steamers
Kjetil Langsaether Norway
Lars-Göran Lindgren S brass era cars
Luke Chennel USA
Marc Fellman Australia
Mark Dawber NZ
Mike Clark GB Vintage Cars.
Mike Tebbett UK cyclecars
Mike Turner USA
Nicolas Boissier France
Paul Linster L French & Britsh sports cars
Peter Ransom Australia
Richard Armstrong UK
Radu Comsa Romania
Raul Valkila Finland
Reg Harris Australia Citroën and English cars
Robb Stewart USA early racing and sports cars
Robbie Marenzi Argentina
Roger Fields USA
Rutger Booy / Bas de Voogd NL team
Stuart Penketh Thailand
Theo Castricum NL US cars
Tom Chaney USA
Verner Johnson DK