Offered from the Fabergé Museum in Baden-Baden, Germany
1965 VéloSolex 3300 Moped
Frame no. 3774772
Developed in the late 1930s, the French VéloSolex first appeared in 1946, just in time to exploit the post-war boom in moped sales. In what many considered an act of Gallic eccentricity, the designers chose not to put the engine in the conventional position in the centre of the frame, but above the front wheel, which the single-cylinder two-stroke motor drove via a roller. The VéloSolex was also assembled in the UK using a combination of British and French components, but was nowhere near as successful in Britain where it was subject to the same licensing requirements as a motorcycle. Pressure from rival manufacturers eventually forced the introduction of more conventional models, but the original VéloSolex remained an immutable fixture of the range. This example was purchased at Bonhams' sale of the Richard C Paine Jr Collection at Owls Head, Maine in September 2008 (Lot 802) and since acquisition has formed part of the Fabergé Museum collection in Germany. Although conforming to the layout of the original, this is a later 3300 model dating from 1965. The machine is presented in un-restored, original condition and appears to have seen little more than a single summer's use.