Jan 04 2016

Mystery Foto #1 Solved: Camille Jenatzy in the Historic La Jamais Contente Updated 1/5/16

Greg O. challenged you to solve the first Mystery Foto of 2016.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the driver who participated in  two Vanderbilt Cup Races

Belgian Camille Jenatzy who drove a Mercedes in the 1905 and 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Races

  • Identify the above racer which did not participate in a Vanderbilt Cup Race.

La Jamille Contente (Never Satisfied), a torpedo-shaped electric racer.The body was made of an early alloy of aluminum, tungsten, and magnesium. Powered by two electric motors that were geared direct to the rear wheels it ran on pneumatic Michelin tires and was steered by a tiller.

  • What is the historical significance of this racer?

La Jamais Contente was the first automobile to exceed 100 kilometers per hour. The record 105 kpm (65.79 miles per hour), a new land speed record, was set by Camille Jenatzy in Acheres, France on April 29, 1899. Three historical markers were placed at the location in 1999 to commemorate its 100th anniversary.

Many historicans also consider La Jamais Contente the first vehicle built specifically for racing.


Congrats and kudos to Steve Lucas (Lucas' Learnings), Chuck Rudy, Art Kleiner (see Kleiner's Korner), Dr. Mark Moscowitz (see Mark's Memories), Frank Schaeffer, Frank Femenias and Ariejan Bos.


Howard Kroplick

Camille Jenatzy and his wife in La Jamais Contente

The original La Jamais Contente is located in The National Car and Tourism Museum at Palais de Compiégne in France. Photo courtesy of Getty Images (January 4, 1932).

This vehicle is a replica of the original La Jamais Contente. It was built in 1993-94 by the students of the Universite de Technologie et du Lycee Technologique de Compiegne, in France.
It is powered by two Electric Motors producing 50 kW each. There are 100 x 2V cells capable of carrying this car to a top speed of 105.9 km/h (65.8 mph).

Lucas' Learnings (Submitted by Steve Lucas)

Steve Lucas: While researching this week's mystery photo, I came across these two old photos of the Jamais Contente. The first one shows Jenatzy breaking the 100 km/h record.

Kleiner's Korner (Submitted by Art Kleiner)

Washington Evening Star, August 26, 1899

Dodge City The Global Republican, November 9, 1899

Mark's Memories (Submitted by Dr. Mark Moskowitz)

Painting by Carlo Demand


Jan 02 2016 Steve Lucas 5:31 PM

The driver is Camille Jenatzy of Belgium who participated in both the 1905 and 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Races. The racer is the Jamais Contente, which translates as “Never Satisfied”. It is a battery powered electric car that was designed by Jenatzy who was an electrical engineer before he became a race car driver. The body is made of an early alloy of aluminum, tungsten, and magnesium and was built by Rheims & Auscher. It is generally accepted that it was the first car specifically built for racing. With Jenatzy driving, it was the first land vehicle to exceed 100 KPH in 1899. It actually went 105 KPH or 65.9 MPH.

Jan 03 2016 Chuck Rudy 6:11 PM

Camille Jenatzy, “the Red Devil” and his aero car named “La Jamais Contente”—“The Never Satisfied”—from 1899.  Jenatzy became the first driver to pilot a road vehicle to speeds over 100 kph, or 62 mph.  He drove a Mercedes in the ‘05 and ‘06 Vanderbilt Cup Races.


Jan 03 2016 Art Kleiner 8:28 PM

Identify the driver who participated in a Vanderbilt Cup Race:
Camille Janatzy

Identify the above racer which did not participate in a Vanderbilt Cup Race.
“Jamais Contente” (Never Content)

What is the historical significance of this racer? 1st vehicle to exceed 100 kph.  Reached a speed of 105 kph (65.8 mph) in 1899.

Jan 03 2016 Mark Moskowitz MD 10:02 PM

Camille Jenatzy
La Jamais Contente
significance x 2
first to exceed 100 km per hour
and electric
significant post   https://www.facebook.com/1401205086818236/photos/a.1401219106816834.1073741827.1401205086818236/1569828359955907/?type=3&theater;

Jan 04 2016 Frank Schaeffer 2:04 AM

it is Camille Jenatzy  
it is Jenatzys ‘‘Jamais Contente’‘
it is the first electric vehicle to exceed 100 KPH [62 MPH]  1899

Jan 04 2016 frank femenias 10:25 AM

Looked it up, this was fun. The electric cigar car (La Jamais Contente [The Never Satisfied]) was an early attempt on aerodynamics and the first auto to reach 62mph in 1899 near Paris. Designed by Belgian driver Camille Jenatzy (The Red Devil), son of a rubber tire manufacturer, raced in the 1905/1906 VCR’s breaking three other speed records. A replica built in 1993 by French university students simulated with two electric motors outputting 50kW each, powered by 100 x 2V cells, capable of 65.8mph max speed.

Jan 04 2016 Ariejan Bos 4:10 PM

Not really a mystery I guess, this one must be common knowledge for everyone.
From December 1898 until May 1899 the Comte de Chasseloup-Laubat and Camille Jenatzy fought a battle over the world speed record. The scene of this battle was a straight road stretch near Achères, a village just west of Paris. The first speed record for cars ever was set by Chasseloup-Laubat on December 18, 1898 with a rather conventional looking Jeantaud reaching almost 63 kph. Also Jenatzy would drive a conventional looking electric Kriéger during his first attempts. Early March 1899 Chasseloup-Laubat attained 94 kph with a streamlined Jeantaud. Jenatzy was not impressed and stated that he would attain 120 kph within a month. Maybe not completely that, but on April 29, 1899 he would reach over 105 kph with his electric ‘La Jamais Contente’, a streamlined torpedo-like car with aluminum body, designed and built by the engineer Auscher of the coachbuilding firm Rothschild.

Jan 04 2016 Ted 8:26 PM

Sure, it was a easy one this week, if you knew who the driver was, I found it right away, but I didn’t get a chance to answer, the answers were posted already. At least I know that my answers would be right. I should have done it earlier, when I was online

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