Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brussels, 1935: Horseless sulky runs on two wheels

This story appeared on page 19 of the June 1935 issue of Popular Science:

Who was this Italian engineer? Why did he go to Brussels to test his invention? And how the heck did he get that thing, built some time in the early 1930s, up to 116 mph? The ring around Brussels wasn't even built at the time. Furthermore, did any of the passengers survive the experiment? That man looks like he is either constipated or very, very afraid.

Whether this is a hoax or not, it's fun to imagine the roads around Brussels turned into a test track for the quirky ideas of foreign inventors. If anyone has any more information about this oddity, please let me know in the comments.


  1. That's insane! I would get really sick in something like that, and it looks dangerous too. Good job finding it, I have never seen it before!

  2. I saw the same picture in an English learning book called Speak Out Elementary from Pearson Longman (I think around chapter 9 or 10). It has more technical info, but not a lot of background. Hope this helps!

  3. Ernesto Fraquelli was the Italian engineer who designed the horseless sulky.

    1. send me an email and I will send an attachment with another image and the caption beneath it.

      "Designed by Ernest Fraquelli, young Italian engineer, the gyrauto is said to be capable of attaining a speed of 116 miles per hour and to operate at a much lower running cost than do more conventional cars."

  4. Here is a poster from 1935 - Gyro-Wheel Car called Fraquelli Gyrauto
    Gyro-Wheel Car called Fraquelli Gyrauto