Daily vehicle demonstrations at 11am, FREE with admission!
Please note that the cars or exhibit items shown in this database are part of our collection but may not be on display when you visit.
Derny is a term that has become synonymous with small pacing vehicles for bicycle racing, but the company itself was more than just jargon. Born out of a French craze for motorized bicycles during the 1930s, Derny debuted its first model, the “Entraineur” in 1938, to pace the Bordeaux-Paris race. Common to all Dernys is the cylindrical fuel tank placed under the handlebars. The gearbox, clutch, and flywheel are unique to Dernys as well; they pull evenly at all revs, allowing speed to be precisely controlled using the throttle and pedals. This is absolutely crucial when pacing the rider following. In 1939, a “civilian” version appeared, with no rear fender (pacers had a fender over the rear wheels to avoid contact with the racer behind them). Production halted during World War II. The “Cyclotandem” (two-person bicycle, seen here) was introduced in 1949, using the same Zurcher engine but with a straight-cut gear transmission, making more noise than the exhaust! This 1950 Cyclotandem is a part of this exhibit because it was owned and ridden by Marcel Leyat during his later years, usually accompanied by his daughter.
Manufacturer: Roger Derny et Fils
Country of Origin: France
Engine: Zurcher; air-cooled, 98cc, single- cylinder, 2-stroke
Transmission: Direct drive
Top Speed: 31 mph
Years of Production: 1938-1957
Number Produced: unknown
Original Cost: $3,095