Jacques Durand, a French car designer, made his debut after the war by making miniature model gasoline engines. He then drew several models of cars for several automotive brands before returning to his freedom and starting his own business to create the famous car JIDE.
At the end of the seventies, three cars stand out in the automobile scene: The Renault Alpine berlinette, 1973’s world champion in the Rally, the very expensive Lamborghini Miura, first series car with a central engine, and the powerful Ford GT40 who had just won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1968 and 1969. Jacques Durand then seeks to create the new sports coupe by realizing the synthesis of these three flagship models; The JIDE is born and its designer named the brand after his initials.
Very quickly, the JIDE stands out for its driving abilities, excellent handling and performance in terms of performance. Indeed, thanks to a polyester body, the car is very light, between 600 and 700 kg and behaves like a small Kart.
Being unable to compete with the budgets of the other car brands at that time, Jacques Durand lends his cars to some drivers in exchange for publicity. Thus, in September 1969, a JIDE starts the famous Tour de France with Pierre Madelaine and Patrick Champin, driver of the French Formula 3 championship. Unfortunately, due to a technical problem, they could not finish this race. However, the Tour Auto was still a great visibility for the brand. The press now speaks of JIDE, and very soon the small sports coupe attracts the attention of other drivers like Jannick Auxemery, Jean Ragnotti and Michel Robini.
A few months later, at the Salon de Paris which took place from February 21 to March 2, 1970, the car is shown to the public, which turns out to be very optimistic. Jacques Durand returns home with a full order book and hopes to raise his small artisanal brand at the industrial level.
But before he can fulfill his orders, the Jidé will have to succeed all the homologation tests: frontal impact, impact on the steering column, handling, braking and even resistance of seat belt anchorages, the car passed successfully all the tests and proves to be a very safe car despite its small size, 3m52 length and 1 m height.
The rythme of fabrication of this small manufacture is far from the high volumes of the automotive industry of the time. It is in his modest Avenue Maison Dieu studio located in Chatillon-sur-Thouet that he creates each model, it was then necessary to count 300 hours with a team of 10 people to finish a full car, the production is thus of a car per week. Touring vehicles will be mounted or sold as kits in both 1600 and 1300 versions. “To each his JIDE” as Jacques Durand liked to say. In 1972, To complete the range he also creates a competition version of the Jidé 1600.
He was about to expand his operations to switch to industrial production when he was hit hard by the 1973 oil crisis, overnight driving had become a luxury. Durand’s operations could have survived the crisis if the French government had not begun to introduce speed limits on public roads, a move that provoked a public outcry in France and which obviously made sports cars like the Jidé much less attractive. Jidé’s last active market was racing cars, but that also stopped when the French government temporarily banned motor racing at the end of 1973, declaring it to be a waste of gasoline.
Feeling down in the dumps and pressed by financial difficulties, Jacques Durand, who was about to leave the stadium to become a full-fledged builder decided to sell the brand Jidé. In total, between 1969 and 1973, 130 cars have been sold.
End of the nineties, the brand is bought by Pierre-Alain Dupuy Urisari and was finally in sold in 2004 to the actual owner Claudio Roddaro.