Classic Car Catalogue

Brandt 1948

Reine 1950  


Jules Brandt surprises visitors of the 1948 Paris Salon with his white and black car, christened "Reine 1950" so named because its inventor plans to sell it from 1950. Its panoramic bodywork without side doors has entry from the front or rear. Technical surprises begin with its powertrain housed in a transverse cylinder about thirty centimetres in diameter. The engine, clutch, the planetary gearbox and the differential all sits inside it. This extraordinary machine has many other peculiarities. The windscreen has no wiper. Its inclination has been studied for self-evacuation of raindrops. New headlights uses ellipso-parabolic mirrors which in principle eliminates dazzling. All independent front and rear suspension provided is by moulded rubber elements. The 4-cylinder, 8-piston, two-stroke engine with a displacement corresponding to 935 cc, has fuel injection and would develop 75 horses at 4,500 rpm and could reach up to 165 km/h thanks to very low, streamlined profile and weight just under 600 kg. Those figures however are only theoretical as the prototype has not be subject of any official test.
The principle of the barrel motor is not new and it has been tried before with various results. It allowed Mr. Brandt to design an extremely compact mechanical assembly uniting the engine and transmission components in a small, transverse, cylindrical block. Adopting the two-stroke cycle, the engine has eight opposed pistons in pairs. In each of the four main cylinders, two pistons slide towards each other by closing or releasing intake or exhaust ports; the other four cylinders act as a pump and send the air necessary for combustion. The feeding is done by injection, a process of which the engineer Brandt is a great specialist.
Unfortunately, Mr. Brandt did not convince any industrialist to mass produce this original model.

The absence of side doors gave the opportunity to draw a very pure profile incorporating large one-piece
windows. It is 4.13 m. long, 1.83 m. wide and weighs 550 kg empty (590 kg in running order).
Its proposed price at the 1948 Salon was 650,000 F.

The rear door giving access to the baggage area, also allowing passengers to enter the car.

With its well-contoured (including underneath) bonnet-less bodywork, large panoramic side windows and huge wheelbase, the Brandt has a silhouette that really comes off the beaten path; it does not look like any of the other models on display at the Grand Palais.
During the Salon, Mr. Jules Brandt tries to convince visitors of the ease with which one enters his Reine 1950. The four separate seats are covered with velvet; three of them are adjustable and easily removable for transportation of bulky luggage.
Placed between the front wheels, the small powertrain does not interfere too much with access through the front door but it still requires a significant step and this is probably not the best solution to settle in a car.
Exhibited on the Brandt stand the powertrain is remarkably compact.

Next to the powertrain, the engineer shows on his stand the oscillating plate device contained in the engine.

The Brandt engine does not require a crankshaft, valves, carburettor or water circuit for cooling; four spark plugs are located in the middle of the finned cylinders.

Diagram of the Reine 1950 front axle showing the main mechanical components enclosed in the very compact cylindrical housing.

Detail drawing of the oscillating plates to which pistons are attached.