Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Trundling Through Ligueil

We encountered this little old right hand drive car and followed it through Ligueil in May.  In the course of prepping these photos for the blog Simon noticed a plastic bottle full of amber coloured liquid hanging from the passenger door. We strongly suspect this is the 'petrol tank'.

I must say that the cyclists in the first photo don't look like the usual set carbon fibre sinewed characters I usually see in lycra but I guess they were out enjoying themselves in the sun and fresh air so good on them.

We were so intrigued by this little car that Simon contacted Pre-war Car to see if any of the members of their expert forum could identify it and tell us a bit about it. Sure enough, people knew this car and were happy to enlighten us.

They described it as 'a refined cyclecar with pointe bordino', sieges décalées (staggered seats) and an alloy dashboard. It was identified with pinpoint accuracy as a 1923 BNC DZ in original condition, regularly used on rallies in France. There are only three left in existence. One is in Germany, one is the French one we photographed and the third one is owned by the guy who answered our query (also French). He says 'It is the first model produced by BNC based on the design of the Jacques Muller cyclecar. The engine is a sidevalves Scap Z.' It was heading to a rally in Loches.


  1. OK! So why is it right-hand drive?
    And Susan, that type of cyclist is the ONLY sort around here...unless we get an "event" using the 10K stretch between the Pressignys....there are some body shapes that should never ever be allowed to wear Spandex, Lycra or stretchy clothing of any sort!!!

  2. I was going to ask the same question... Glad you ID'ed it though...

  3. Splendid capture an on the move! Do you travel with the camera on the dashboard? Our cameras are always somewhere else.

    The cyclecar looks in determinedly original condition; and no exhaust haze either so perhaps the motor is more cherished than the bodywork.

  4. Many French cars were right hand drive - even into the 1950s - Delahayes, Bugattis, Talbots, EDelage, Amilcars - the list goes on and on. There is no law that states they need to be otherwise...

    Especially in mountainous areas a RHD car is an advantage, which may be why the luxury cars are so often RHD, Monaco being their natural environment.

    John - a camera is usually with us in the car

    1. Why would the RHD car be an advantage in the mountains? Is that assuming that you drive it on the right-hand side of the road, as in France? I guess you'd be able to see better around curves in that case.

      There's an interesting short article about why left-hand and right-hand drive ended up being adopted in different countries, and speculation about why, here.

    2. If the road is curving the right way, of course.

    3. It allows you to get much closer to the edge - you can see exactly where your wheels are just before they fall of the edge of the road.

  5. How incredible that you happened upon and managed to photo the only one in France! Thank you Simon for your comment, I had no idea that many French cars used to be right hand drive, this is why I love blogging so much, we learn something new every day!