Dubonnet Dolphin by AutoCult (1:43 scale)

Andre Dubonnet, French WWI fighter pilot and race car driver, designed and built this streamlined car.  It was fast and very efficient but too radical for traditional auto manufacturers.  The Dolphin soon disappeared from the scene and its fate is unknown.



Pilot on the Streets

The financially independent André Dubonnet was developing in France during the first half of the 1930s under the type description Dolphin an aerodynamic car, which however did not inspire interest among the industry.
With the knowledge of his time as pilot during the First World War and his success on Europe´s race tracks behind the steering wheel of Bugatti and Sunbeam, Dubonnet was dreaming of a streamlined car, which could also be produced in series. Together with the engineer Chedru, he was creating a car body around the drive with a 3.6 liters V8 engine of Ford, which was strongly focused on a drop shape. The result was of course that the car body was very roundly and he was choosing for the access doors the unconventional design at the front, whereby only the right half next to the steering wheel could be opened as well as two further doors at both sides, which provided access to the front area. The engine was positioned directly behind the back seat and at the height of the rear axle Dubonnet was providing an upright standing tail unit, which came from the aircraft construction and should stabilize the car at high speed. So that the sophisticated aerodynamics would not be interrupted by unfavorable flow conditions, Dubonnet was providing a complete cladding for all four wheels. So that the solution for the steerable front wheels was that the claddings were fixed directly on the axle and could follow the steering movement.

Compared with a series model, the French proved that his aero dynamical performance were right, as the car was achieving a maximum speed of 173 km/h (108 mph), while the serial-production Ford was only achieving 131 km/h (82 mph).

But this success could not convince any company to produce his car in series and so André Dubonnet was dedicating to other projects and his unique formed car disappeared from the picture.

More Information: AutoCult.de


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