Is it a plane? A car? A boat? Nope … it’s the one and only Helicron, an amazing car-plane hybrid. At the end of World War I, many aircraft engineers found themselves out of work and started dabbling in automotive development. And that’s how the Helicron was born.
Thought to have been built in 1932, the Helicron was parked in a barn in France sometime in the late 30s. When it was discovered in 2000, it was covered with so much debris that it was barely visible. Now fully and lovingly restored, the Helicron retains many of its original components including the wooden frame, but the engine was replaced with a 4-cylinder Citroen motor from the 1980s. The propeller attaches directly to the crankshaft of the engine.
The Helicron, which has a top speed of around 75 mph, passed a safety inspection in France in 2000 and can actually be driven legally on the roads there – so it’s a bit of a shame that it currently resides right here in the good old U.S. of A. If you’re ever in Nashville, stop by the Lane Motor Museum to get a look at the Helicron.
Photo by Kevin Austin