PAGE 32. Velosolex History: Models 330, 660 & 1010

nun01.jpg

Velosolex History

1.jpg

The Velosolex was introduced right after World War 2.

Like the Italian Lambrettas and Vespas in the scooter world, the Velosolex set the highest standard in its genre, and remained the market leader for ‘cyclomoteurs’ throughout its production run.

Good marketing was a key strategy. Velosolexes – and particularly the early ones – were not necessarily the best cyclemotors on the market, but the company believed in catching customers while they were still young. They made Velosolex toys, and the factories had excellent facilities for children on hand when their parents visited the factory.

A good measure of its success is the fact that a brand new Velosolex is now on sale (below). I had a good look at one when I was over in France earlier in the year. Although I find it to be a bit ‘plasticky’ it surprised me how true it is to the original design.

modernsolex.jpg

 

 

The Velosolex is the epitome of French vintage transport.

 

121.jpg

*********************************************************************************

Velo Solex 45

Maurice Goudard and Marcel Mennesson designed the VeloSoleX during the Second World War. Since first leaving the Courbevoie factory in 1946, at least until the mid-60s, it was probably the most iconic vehicle on French roads: with such wonderfully quirky French design there are some very strong contenders for that title! Even after production finished in 1988, people are attracted by its simplicity and easy maintenance.

I bought and sold the 1947 Velosolex pictured below in March 2007. While later models can still be bought for reasonable prices, these early models have now become very collectable.

1947solex4.jpg

Without a clutch, they are not as practical to use, but they are pretty machines.

solexad2.jpg

*********************************************************************************

Velo Solex 330

1953show.jpg

The 330 was introduced at the 1953 Paris Show. The photos below shows Velosolex publicity for the 1954 Tour de France.

1954.jpg

19542.jpg

19543.jpg

My 1955 Velosolex 330

14001.jpg

I have quite a few Velosolexes. This is my favourite; it was a present from a friend, who had owned it for 11 years and had bought it from its original owner.

24001.jpg

This 330 is in superb, running unrestored condition, and has a wonderful patina. It’s the one I would not sell.

4400.jpg

Some of my vintage cyclemotors are so over-engineered that riding them can be quite a battle. This one is so simple it’s a joy to use. So although it’s not a particularly rare model, nor the most valuable, it has pride of place.

5400.jpg

*********************************************************************************

1956 Velo Solex 660

01400.jpg

I bought a restored 1955 Her-cu-Motor, and the seller owned this Velosolex too. I’m a sucker for unrestored running fifties cyclemotors so when he offered it to me I ended up buying this too.

The 660 model was the last model with the famous early swan-neck frame; you can see that the bottom of the swan-neck is flattened – which is how you know it’s a 660. They were made until 1957 when the 1010 was introduced.

03400.jpg

Velosolex model numbers relate to the amount of units that had been sold, eg 660,000 for this model; over a million for the 1010.

02400.jpg

*********************************************************************************

1958 Velo Solex 1010

This beautiful Velosolex 1010 is the same type used in Mon Oncle, which came out in the same year. (see poster at the top of the page).

2.jpg

It starts easily, runs well, and is an absolute joy to ride.

3.jpg

The 1010 looks much more at home in Pat’s pretty garden in France in summer (above) than in my drive in Brighton in autumn (below).

158.jpg

Of course, the main difference between riding solexes in France and Britain is that over there, being under 50cc, they don’t need a license or registration.

358.jpg

solex1.jpg

*********************************************************************************

1971 Solex Triporteur

This 1971 Solex Triporteur sold on French ebay recently for over €3000.

e329_1.jpg

*********************************************************************************

%d bloggers like this: