Author Topic: Jules Verne's mysterious motorcycles  (Read 286 times)

Offline Translator

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Jules Verne's mysterious motorcycles
« on: January 04, 2018, 02:20:52 PM »
Hello! I'm a translator doing some research on Jules Verne's novel Master of the World, and would be glad for some expert advice on a couple of motorcycles mentioned in the book.

There's a scene at a big automobile race, circa 1903, in which motorcycles are permitted to enter alongside cars. Verne mentions a lot of authentic automobile brands in this scene, and also two motorcycle brands: "Hurter" and "Dietrich." Do these names ring a bell to you?

An auto expert mentioned Hurtu and De Dietrich to me—they were car makers of the right era, but I haven't been able to trace whether they were also building motorcycles at the time as well. Any wisdom would be much appreciated.

Many thanks!

Offline R

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Re: Jules Verne's mysterious motorcycles
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 10:58:48 PM »
Bonhams sold a 1902 De Dietrich car, and mentioned that the Dietrichs' were wealthy landowners in Alsace who dabbled in early car manufacture and racing.
They likely are still there, maybe any enquiries about motorcycles should go to them ?
They, of anyone, would likely have preserved some details and maybe even pics

btw, the car sold for ~$1,700,000 so any (surviving) motorcycle might be somewhat rare ?

Offline R

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Re: Jules Verne's mysterious motorcycles
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 11:30:12 PM »
Hurtu gets several mentions only in Bourdaches book on early French motorcycles
(Dietrich doesn't), but there are no pictures.

The only detail is a 16 HP Hurtu engine mention - a cycle pacing affair (?).

This entry is in the list of manufacturers near the back of the book.
(quite an extensive list, it must be said)


Offline murdo

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Re: Jules Verne's mysterious motorcycles
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 07:52:31 AM »
I found an entry for Hurtu.
HURTU, France-1903 to late 1950s.
Once a well known car factory which built lightweight motocycles and after WW2 also 49cc attachment engines for bicycles.
Hope this is some help to you.
There is also a mention of a Dieterle, but it is from 1923.