Solex was created in 1905. At that time, it only manufactured carburetors for buses.
In 1940, Marcel Mennesson had a prototype built for a vehicle equipped with a motor on the front wheel. The 38 cubic cm engine was outfitted with a roller transmission, carburetor and tank, and mounted on 700-millimetre wheels.
It was only after the Second World War that Marcel Mennesson and Maurice Goudard started manufacturing the VéloSolex. This cost-effective means of transport quickly became extremely popular in those difficult economic times in France.
Production launched in April of 1946 in a factory near Paris, at a rate of 15 units per day.
With its reasonable price and simple, plain design, it lent itself well to daily use for transportation and leisure.
From 1946 to 1988, more than 8 million VéloSolex were sold in over 70 countries.
The birth of an icon and a legend
Throughout its 30 years of production, a variety of VéloSolex models were promoted in different markets. For example, in Canada and the United States, several series 3300 and 3800 models were made available, as well as the series 5000 in 1971, in various colours.
Production ceased in 1988, following a number of successive acquisitions.
In 2004, the French group Cible purchased the brand with a view to marketing the E Solex, an electric bicycle designed by Pininfarina.
Solex International Cycle, which sells products in more than 10 European countries and in Japan, is now looking to penetrate the North American market.
An icon makes a comeback