Is it a car?
No! It’s got a propeller at the front!
Is it a plane?
No! It hasn’t got any wings!
This bizarre machine, christened Hélica, was designed a century ago by Marcel Leyat. It’s a hybrid vehicle halfway between a plane and a car.
The design of this strange vehicle went against all the principles of auto construction at the time, because Hélica didn’t have a chassis, a gearbox, a transmission system, or a drive wheel!
This revolutionary prop-driven car was very light, simple, cheap to run, and fast. Its performancewas amazing: it could do over 60 mph and weighed less than 300 kilos with two passengers.
In 1927, a Hélica with low-slung bodywork achieved speeds of 106 mphon the Montlhéry circuit.
Marcel Leyatwas an extraordinary man, an engineer with a philosophical bent who had a very varied career, working for example on plane prototypes and patenting a revolutionary method for learning musical scales! He built 23 Hélicasbetween 1913 and 1926.
The model of the Hélica will be sold at the EXHIBITION SHOP