Camille Jenatzy completed ‘La Jamais Contente’ (The Never-Satisfied), the first purpose-built land speed record car


Monday 27th March 1899

Camille Jenatzy completed ‘La Jamais Contente’ (The Never-Satisfied), the first purpose-built land speed record car. The electric vehicle had a light alloy torpedo shaped bodywork and batteries. The high position of the driver and the exposed chassis underneath spoiled much of the aerodynamics. The light alloy, called partinium, is an alloy of aluminium, tungsten and magnesium. Jenatzy driving La Jamais Contente set a land speed record was established in April 1899 at Achères, Yvelines near Paris, France. The vehicle had two direct drive Postel-Vinay 25 kW motors, running at 200 V drawing 124 Amperes each for about 68 hp, and was equipped with Michelin tires. Chassis number was n°25. Jenatzy died in 1913 in a hunting accident. He went behind a bush and made animal noises as a prank on his friends who were hunting with him. It worked too well. Alfred Madoux, director of the journal L’Etoile Belge,[6] fired, believing it was a wild animal. When they realised it was Jenatzy, they rushed him to hospital by car; he bled to death en route, fulfilling his own prophecy he would die in a Mercedes. He is buried at the Laeken Cemetery in Brussels.


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