1925 GERIN AERODYNE
FROM AVIATION TO THE AUTOMOBILE
Production Years: 1925
Number Produced: 1(Prototype Only)
Jacques Gerin was a pilot in the French military during World War I. He went on to design two cars, the first one driven by a propeller and the second one with a mid-engine and many unique features. This second car was the “Aerodyne.” This 1922 design is an Aerodynamic, Aluminum, Exoskeletal Space Frame, Mid-engine, 4 wheel independent suspension masterpiece of innovation and advanced design.
The body, made of pieces of wood laminated between cast aluminum, is a space frame. There is no chassis and the shape is aerodynamic. The body was never finished. It is now being made by our shop following the drawings and patent from Jacques Gerin. Sheets of aluminum are formed to follow the contour of the frame. The car was patented in the early twenties. Manufacturing of the prototype was done by Ratier – Ratier Figeac today – in a suburb of Paris, in 1925 and 26. It is a mid-engine automobile with a 2 liter overhead valve engine mounted in front of the rear axle. As with everything else in the Gerin, it is a very modern engine for the twenties. Valve springs are tronconic to suppress the vibrations, the greased rockers are pivoting on ball bearings and there is no oil in the top of the engine. Chevron gears were selected for timing with dual ignition using one magneto and one coil/distributor. The four wheel independent suspension is controlled by horizontal hydraulic shock absorbers operating through articulating arms. The front wheel has hydraulic brakes with four shoes applying pressure directly to the inside of the wheel. Steering is rack and pinion with an adjustable steering wheel height. The transmission is also unique; the rear drive shafts, with inboard brakes, use a small diameter gear to directly drive the main gear in the wheel. The rear suspension geometry allows the wheel’s oscillation around the differential output shaft gear.
The Tampa Bay Automobile Museum is currently restoring this vehicle