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