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Alamagny Rhomboid: Highly Innovative and Quirky Wheels

It is aways a good learning experience to take an occasional look “Across the Pond” so to speak to get a fresh perspective on automobiles and learn how they are designed, and constructed in other countries. Today we travel to Retromobile held this past winter in Paris, France to view a 1947 Alamagny Rhomboid.

French engineer Marcel Alamagny designed and built one in a series of these peculiar automobiles in 1947 that use four wheels placed in a diamond pattern. Two wheels are on a common axle in the middle of the car, powered by a small Simca four-cylinder 569 cc engine and transmission. One of the other two wheels is located at the front center and used for steering, and the rear wheel is free to pivot and follow it.

1947 Rhomboid Car II

  • Front view of the four-wheeled Alamagny Rhomboid and aluminum coachwork. The front and rear passenger sections are hinged for entry and the separate center section contains the drive train. 

The front and rear portions of the aluminum coachwork are identical and hinged to open at the edges of the center section. The rear seat passenger has a view of what is behind the machine. Like many early postwar cars built in Europe and the UK, high fuel mileage and maneuverability in cities was an important consideration.

The images are courtesy of photographer, filmmaker, and artist Stefan Marjoram. The video below showing many of the Rhomboids produced was shot at Retromobile 2016 and is courtesy of Goodwood “Overdrive Classics” and includes this car and the later versions of the unusual automobiles.

 

6 responses to “Alamagny Rhomboid: Highly Innovative and Quirky Wheels

  1. You telling me that parking is tight over in Europe?
    I seen cars parked on sidewalks, on corners so that pedestrians couldn’t cross at intersections,in public parks,on traffic islands…you name it.

  2. What a strange but interesting find. Thanks for posting!

    It makes a BMW Isetta or a Messerschmitt KR200 look normal by comparison.

  3. Good grief, at first glance I thought it was a post war Studebaker. People used to say they didn’t know if they were coming or going. Back in 1946 trough 1948 availability was everything.

  4. I’m struck by three things with these automobiles. First handling must have been at least very twitchy particularly if either of the end wheels happened to leave the ground. Second, with the Alamagny, I can’t help but wonder how you would exit the vehicle if either end was in a collision. Lastly, on this particular car, I see nothing that suggests opening windows. Ventilation wasn’t considered?

  5. A pity there’s no image/mention of the Sunbeam-Mabley (1901-1903) – one of the weirdest automobiles of all time. Several are still running in the UK.

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