Cars Rarunos: Jules II Proto 6×4, an extravagant assault on the Dakar rally

the Result of a bet, the French driver Thierry De Montcorgé he made his debut in the grueling Dakar rally in 1981 at the wheel of a Rolls-Royce Corniche. The history of the iconic raid had only begun two years before, but he had already signed one of the mounts more ridiculous that participated in the adventure.

Although the Rolls have received a lot of modifications to go through the african desert he had to leave, but he made it clear that Montcorgé not put back to the challenges. The following two years he participated with a model that is more rational, the off-road Mercedes 280 GE, and in 1984 he returned to the old ways with a new insanity.

The frenchman had been working from scratch on a prototype exceptional to face a greater challenge which was to participate in the rally Beijing-Paris. It was a very long raid of 15,000 kilometres between the capitals of china and French, with hardly any roads and facing extreme temperatures, with stages, for example, by the Gobi desert or Siberia.


The prototype had a V8 engine small block in the rear center position

The endurance race was so demanding that only had been done once, in 1907, and lasted for two months after which the winner was awarded as the sole prize of a bottle of champagne -instaurándose the tradition of watering with champagne victories in the races. Thierry Sabine Organisation (TSO), the same organizer of the Dakar, I wanted to retrieve that rally but finally the race was cancelled -the reissue was made to wait until 1997-.

The French rider did not want to abandon your car, thought of a Plan B and took him to the Paris-Dakar rally. For this was the brand of perfume Christian Dior, who publicised their fragrance Jules in the Rolls-Royce. Dior saw with good eyes to repeat the experience for a mere matter of business: it is possible that the car had no options of victory in the race, but their multiple specificities would do that all over the world to fix him.

into The wilderness without assistance

The sponsorship was to baptize the model as Jules II Proto 6×4 and since then it was impossible to pass unnoticed. It is common in the Dakar was to get a assistance truck, but as Of Montcorgé created with the Beijing-Paris in mind, Jules was intended to transport all of the supplies, equipment, and tools without the need of a support vehicle. It had to be self-contained in the resolution of problems.


An advantage of the three axes is clearly visible in this image

the development of The car lasted 18 months and settled on a tubular chassis made of kevlar. The body was made in light polyester fiber and had no traditional doors, but a few hatches side that allowed access of the occupants. The result was a vehicle fairly light weight, in total, weighed 1.400 kg

To give life to Jules, in the central part rear was located a V8 engine 5.8-signed by Chevrolet to be able to develop a power of 380 HP. This mechanism was related to the manual transmission of four gears of the Porsche 935. The prototype was a puzzle.

His most distinctive feature were his six wheels. It was not the first time that the Dakar was involved a car that used that configuration, although this is a solution that is very unusual. The Jules 6×4 gave a twist to his uniqueness because only two of the three axes provided the traction.


The Jules II Proto I didn’t need a support vehicle, loaded with all the necessary equipment to cross the desert

The rear-wheel drive, in reality, had as its function to distribute the weight and, if necessary, be used as a spare part for the other axes. Withstand the weight was an app nothing banal as the prototype could carry up to a ton of cargo. The Jules II Proto, carrying his own camp, with two tanks of 156 litres of fuel each, two spare wheels, an electric generator, and a rear platform that served as the basis for deploying a tent once the stage is over.

Thierry De Montcorgé and his co-driver Jean-Pierre Nicolle, which was premiered in the test african, were in the output of the capital gala along with other 258 cars participants. After more than 12,000 kilometers, the Lake Rose only came in 92. Despite being one of the cars best-prepared of the 1984 edition of the joy was short-lived for the Jules II Proto. he Was forced to leave Algeria during the third stage due to the rupture of the chassis.

The adventure had ended, and some time after Montcorgé sold the Jules II Proto 6×4, no engine or gearbox, to a collector. It saved as gold cloth until his death, and then he was passing from hand to hand until in 1999 it acquired another rally driver who docked a engine 2.0 Turbo and a transmission, both source Renault.