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Quiz Archive

About Quiz #441: A circa 1913 Diederichs taxi

Whatisit-quiz #441

 Although originally involved in the weaving industry, the Diederichs brothers already early had an interest in mechanical transport. In 1878 they built a steam tricycle followed by the development of a heavy oil engine which they showed.... the Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris. Financially it didn't really work out and for the next decades they concentrated again on their activities in the textile business in Saint-Barthélémy and Bougoin-Jailleu, near Lyon. In the early '10s Diederichs brother Théophile decided to make another try and he launched the Société des Automobiles Diederichs et Cie in Lyon. With an average of two chassis a month, the total production stopped at 60 when WW1 broke out. Engines came from Luc Court, bodies were made by Chaussende, just like this taxi. How many taxis were built is unclear but I remember to have read somewhere that a contemporary regularly had seen them driving around in Lyon. The production year of this taxi seems to be 1912 or 1913 as the radiator for 1914 became slightly elongated.


Congrats to the two jury members who solved the mystery: Alan Spencer as well as the omniscient Robbie Marenzi! 

Words and photos: Ariejan Bos 

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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