1966 - 1988 : A myth confirmed

The One and Only, the 3800 :

The S 3800 will come out in 1966, with a better torque to improve its performances uphill. In 1968 Solex diversifies the 3800, which costs 420 Francs, by offering color models (blue or red). Those models are called "luxury 3800," and are sold 447 Francs. In 1967, 287,119 units will be sold, and 286,431 in 1968.


3800 model

A Miscalculation:

From 1968 to 1974 the "Micron" will be produced. It's a moped which mixes scooter wheels and a S 3800 engine, without pedals. Furthermore, at the time, you need a helmet, a pink slip, a licence plate and a driver's licence in order to be allowed to drive it. This model was sold at the same time as the 3800, but no more than 4,000 units a year will be sold between the beginning and the end of its production.

micro flash

On the left, the Micron - on the right the Flash

Solex will also manufacture more classic mopeds, without the engine on the front and a different drive gear: The "Flash" appears in 1969. It would become the "6000" in 1972. It's a moped with a Cardan joint and a rear disc brake, and a 1.4cv engine. Its speed reaches 40 kms per hour (versus 30 kms for the 3800) and uses up 2 liters per hundred kms (versus 1.4 for the 3800). It is sold 559 Francs, versus 420 Francs for the 3800. In 1972 the 6000 is made available. It's a "Flash" with a telescopic fork, V-shaped flank and a classic front mudguard. It is sold 710 Francs in parallel with the Flash that costs 640 Francs. Total production would not go over 100,000 units.

The 5000:

The 5000 appears in 1971 and is sold along with the 3800. This new model is lower and comes in four colors: yellow Palma, orange, blue "lagoon" and off-white. It costs 529 Francs in 1971 and will be produced until 1980. In 1973, the 5000 is offered in a folding version called "PliSolex" (the base of the central frame can be folded). This model costs 715 Francs in 1974, whereas the 5000 costs 584 Francs. The PliSolex would be produced until 1978.


The 5000

A Moped for Solex:

In 1973 comes out the second moped without the engine on the front and a different drive gear, the Ténor. It's a classic moped with a Franco Morini engine. The price of the "L" model is 1,060 Francs, and the one of the "S" model is 1,350 Francs. The latter is equipped with a double seat, visible springs in the back and blinkers. The "S" is only available in yellow. After six month, the range of Ténor is renewed with a model "R" without springs in the back, and with an enamel mudguard ; The "L" and "S" models are replaced by GL and GS with Ankler-Laura engines, which cylinder is tilted at a 25-degree angle. The upscale model is the S4. It has a Franco Morini four-speed engine with manual clutch and foot selector and is only available in bright red, and only 2000 units will be produced.


The ténor GL

In 1974 appears the 4600 for the exportation market ; This model mixes 3800 and 5000 to be in conformation with the local legislation. A round front light will be prototyped for the US market, another one with a 5000 front light will be sole on the english market, and a 5000 with smaller wheels will be sold in holland (this small size allowed the user not to ware an hemet).These are the last model with a front engine and such a transmission produced by Solex.

The end of a myth :

On january 29 th 1974, Félix Goudard dies at the age of 86. He was in charge of the worldwide commercialisation of the Solex company. This same year Renault (the frensh car producer) takes control of the Vélosolex. The subsidiary company "Renault Motors developpment" exchanges, at the end of the year, its 51% shares in VéloSolex against a 15% share in Motobécane. Motobécane immidiately stops the production of the 6000 and the Ténor, which are direct competitors of somme of the Motobécane range of products. The 3800 are now produced Saint-Quentin, in the Motobécane factory. In 1977 the 3800 are equiped with a larger taillight. In 1986, it's equiped with a right brake handles, and reflectors on the back and frunt fork. In 1983 Motobécane becomes MBK, it's the begining of the japanese groupe Yamaha's takeover. The 3800 is produced unitl 1988, but the sales are only of 7,077 in 1980 and 2,787 in 1981. MBK's production line of Saint-Quentin will stop in novembre 7 1988, and the last 100 unites will be solde at an charity auction for "Les resto du coeur".


The 1986 3800 model in red

The solex today
back to the first part of the history

And a special thanks to Anne-Sophie who realy helped me translate this page (to mail her)

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