Solex

Solex

Solex was a French manufacturer of carburetors and the powered bicycle VéloSoleX.

The Solex company was founded by Marcel Mennesson and Maurice Goudard to manufacture vehicle radiators. These were fitted to several makes of early cars including Delauney-Belleville and buses of the Paris General Omnibus company.

After World War I the radiator business went into decline and the company bought the rights to the carburettor patents of Jouffret and Renée and named them Solex after their business.

Carburetors

Solex carburetors were until the mid 1980s used on many European cars including Volkswagen, Alfa-Romeo, Fiat, Audi, Ford, BMW, Citroen, Opel, Simca, Saab, Renault, Peugeot, Lancia, Mercedes Benz, Volvo and Porsche. Solex carburetors have been made under licence by a number companies including the Mikuni company of Japan who supplied them to auto makers including Toyota, Mitsubishi and Suzuki as well as to various Japanese motorcycle makers. Mikuni originally entered into a licensed manufacturing agreement with Solex in 1960 and further developed many of Solex's original designs.

The Solex brand is now owned by Magneti Marelli. The original Solex company changed its name in 1994 to Magneti Marelli France and on May 31, 2001, Magneti Marelli France partially bought its assets (including the trademark SOLEX) from Magneti Marelli Motopropulsion France S.A.S.

The trademark "VELOSOLEX" is the property of Velosolex America, LLC which markets the Velosolex worldwide.

Powered bicycles

The Vélosolex has a small motor mounted above the front wheel. Power is delivered via a small ceramic roller that rotates directly on the front wheel by friction to the tire. The first VELOSOLEX was sold in 1946. More than 8 million were eventually sold, mostly in Europe. It was also constructed under license in many countries. Today the Velosolex is again manufactured in France. The trademark "VELOSOLEX" is the property of Velosolex America, LLC which markets the Velosolex motorized bicycle worldwide.

History of the brand

* 1905: The company was created by Maurice Goudard and Marcel Mennesson, both graduates of the École Centrale Paris.
* 1973: the carburetor division is taken over by Matra, and later by Magneti-Marelli, then by Renault and Motobécane in 1974.
* 1983: Motobécane is bought by Yamaha and becomes MBK.
* 1988: production in France, at Saint-Quentin, ends.
* Circa 2001 production cease in China and restarted in France.
* The trademark "VELOSOLEX" is the property of Velosolex America, LLC , who markets the Velosolex worldwide.

External links

* [http://www.mikuni.co.jp/e/history.html Mikuni]
* [http://www.velosolexamerica.com/ Velosolex America official web site]
* [http://www.magnetimarelli.com/company/brands.htm Magneti Marelli]
* [http://vsx.collectionmachine.com/ev/history.html Velosolex collection - technical descriptions]
* [http://www.mcqueenonline.com/solex3800.htm Steve McQueen rode a Velosolex]


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