Dubonnet Dolphin (FRANCE, 1935)



Pilot for the Streets

André Dubonnet was a French flying ace, athlete, racecar driver, and inventor.  Financially independent, during the 1920s, Dubonnet competed in Olympic bobsledding as well as racing cars for Bugatti and Hispano-Suiza. He later spent much of his fortune developing inventions. He successfully sold an automobile suspension system (système Dubonnet) to General Motors.  During the first half of the 1930s he developed the Dolphin, an aerodynamic car.


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.



#80005 resin limited build of 333   1/18 scale

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  • Model: FACU80005
  • Shipping Weight: 4.25kgs
  • Manufactured by: AUTOCULT

This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 11 April, 2018.

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