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BEDELIA, Paris, France, 1910-1925


Legend has it that in 1909 coal dealers Robert Bourbeau and Henry Devaux rode a motorcycle and had an accident. When they brought the remains of their motorcycle to Paris, they thought of creating a more stable, 4-wheeled crew, but as simple, light and cheap as a motorcycle. Such machines began to be called cyclo-carts or voyuretkami in France and cyclades in England.
The modest financial possibilities of Bourbeau and Devaux can be traced in the simplest design of a light car that received a mark by the initials of their names - “BEDELIA". It was a long, narrow and low carriage on four bicycle wheels for two people who were sitting one after another (in tandem) on the seats , sheathed with coal bags. Ahead was a light 2-cylinder motorcycle engine that rotated the rear wheels using long side belts. They also “shifted gears” (the belts moved on two driving pulleys of different diameters), and the tension it was controlled by the movement of the rear axle. The rigid front axle turned completely, and the driver, who was sitting behind the passenger, controlled it. The frame and the primitive body, resembling a boat or airplane fuselage, were wooden.
Despite the extreme simplicity and unusual appearance, the model had a good demand. There was even a queue for it, and the owners of the company took an advance from their customers 3 years in advance. All orders they completed, and in addition made a few racing cars, winning the most prestigious competitions. During the war, “BEDELIA” worked as self-propelled sanitary wagons.
In 1920, Bourbeau and Devaux sold the rights to the production of “BEDELIA” to the Frenchman Mahieux, who promised to update the model and start a mass production. But on the eve of the economic crisis, “BEDELIA” ceased to exist.

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