May 1st, 1899. A driver called the Red Devil (because of his red hair) reached the speed of 105.99 km per hour in Camille Jenatzy’s electric Jeauteuad at Acheres, just outside of Paris. This unusually shaped car resembled a rocket. Its design may have been inspired by Jules Verne. According to Richard Adatto’s book From Passion to Perfection: The Story of French Streamlined Styling 1930-1939, the car called “Jamais Contente” (Never Content), constructed of an alloy of tungsten and aluminum, was “one of the first aerodynamic cars to be displayed at the concours, demonstrating electric propulsion and streamlining”.
If, after reading Richard Adatto’s book, you want to see the actual car, Jamais Contente, make a pilgrimage to:
Le Musee de la Voiture National Museum
Chateau de Compiegne Place du Gen de Gaulle
Tel. 03 44 38 47 02
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For some of the wonderful examples of streamlined cars in France, Mulhouse’s national car museum Schlumpf in eastern France is NOT TO BE MISSED. Home to an incredible collection of Bugatti’s, this is a museum you may never want to leave.
1912 Avenue de Colmar
Tel. 03 89 33 23 23
And back in Paris:
Re: Jules Verne: If you visit the Cinematheque Francaise, 51 Rue de Bercy, Metro: Bercy, you will find more references to Jules Verne and clips of the Georges Melies films based on Jules Verne’s stories. Props from the films (including a rocket) are on display. (That look very similar to the Jamais Contente car!)