Page 159. 1953 Mercier Cyclemotor. SOLD

1953 Mercier Cyclemotor

1953mercier1

This machine may not look particularly significant, but it’s actually a very rare cyclemotor, produced by one of France’s oldest cycle manufacturers. I defy you to find any other pictures of a Mercier moped on the internet!

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I now have too many cyclemotors and, as you can see from the photos below, this one is encroaching on my partner’s part of the garden. So the Mercier (and others) must be sold.

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It’s an interesting project and a sound basis for restoration.

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I’m not 100% sure which engine it is (they fitted many different types) but I think it’s an ABG.

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CYCLES MERCIER

60 Rue Gutemberg, St Etienne, France

Mercier_Poster

Mercier was one of the original French manufacturers, based in St. Etienne (the country’s industrial heartland – the ‘Coventry’ of France). The company went into liquidation in the 1980s. Currently it forms part of the Accell Group and produces bicycles in Andrezieux Boutheon, near St Etienne. The Mercier brand has also reappeared on mail-order Chinese-made bikes in the USA, apparently as a result of a licensing arrangement.

Though the original Cycles Mercier made good bicycles, and had many racing successes, the company is less famous in French bicycle history for its cycle output than for a public dispute that lasted many years.

Mercier was an ambitious businessman who saw the value of sponsoring top riders of the day. In a complicated row concerning a rider called André Leducq, Mercier gained the disapproval of Henri Desgrange, organiser of the Tour de France and editor of the daily sports paper, L’Auto. Desgrange picked the French team for the Tour and, because of the row, left out Leducq, who rode for Mercier.

Mercier saw personal spite in the decision and complained. He had spent a lot of money on the sponsorship and now he risked wasting it. Desgrange refused to change his decision. According to Desgrange’s successor, Jacques Goddet, in his book L’Équipée Belle, Mercier complained more and more and Desgrange became ever more determined.

When Mercier began getting lawyers to complain, Desgrange ordered the staff of L’Auto never to mention Mercier’s name again. However, it was hard not to write about Mercier in the newspaper because he was a team sponsor and an influential businessman, and the dispute was newsworthy.

So L’Auto compromised by never spelling his name correctly. That drove Mercier to engage still more more lawyers – to which L’Auto would print corrections, only to get the name wrong once more. “Monsieur Gercier has let us known that his name is Monsieur Mervier”, and then, “Monsieur Mervier asks us to say that, in reality, he is called Monsieur Cermier.” When the aggrieved and non-existent Monsieur Cermier wrote in once more, L’Auto excelled itself by printing: “Monsieur Cermier insists that in fact he is known as Monsieur Merdier”.

Merde is French for excrement. The row fizzled out after a while and Mercier wasn’t discouraged from sponsoring riders. His team and that of Peugeot were among the last in the sport to be sponsored primarily by a cycle company even when rising costs had forced many teams to seek support from outside the sport from the 1960s. Mercier’s most prominent rider was the Frenchman Raymond Poulidor, who stayed with Mercier and the teams that succeeded it throughout his career.

mercier_ad

Like most cycle manufacturers, with the easy availability of proprietary engines after the war, Mercier moved into cyclemotor production, starting in 1951 with a VAP4 powered machine. Over the years until they ceased production in 1961, they also fitted engines from Himo, Junior, Aucune, Itom, Lavalette and Sachs (as well as later ABG VAP engines). Below is the 1954 Mercier moped, the Mercier Vacances.

1954mercier copy

You can now buy repro Mercier race shirts – surely the ideal thing to wear when you’re poodling along on your Mercier cyclemotor 🙂

mercier_shirt

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As a footnote, the pictures below show a 1937 Mercier prototype half-track built for the French army.

It was powered by a 350 JAP engine.

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PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE BIDDING

OWNER: BuyVintage Online Auctions

LOCATION: Brighton, E.Sussex, United Kingdom

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DELIVERY is not included in this auction.

This means that it is not my responsibility,

BUT I can put you in touch with a delivery chap and organize collection;

you liaise with them direct re delivery and pay them separately.

Great Britain – delivery is ONLY £50 to main parts of England;

extra to extremities such as Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, etc (and may take longer to arrive)

(Please email your postcode if you want to confirm price).

THIS BARGAIN PRICE DELIVERY IS ON A PART-LOAD BASIS.

(Collection when they’re in my area; delivery when in yours).

LOCAL DELIVERY FREE

If you want it fast, please organize your own collection.

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Ireland & N. Ireland – I’ll recommend some companies, but you’ll have to organize it yourself.

Europe – delivery is probably around €400 to Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, etc. I can recommend two companies.

North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc – I’ll organize all the crating and shipping for you.

PAYMENT: Paypal is okay for cheap items; otherwise deposit only on paypal please.

INTERNATIONAL PURCHASERS:

You must communicate with me before the end of the auction to discuss payment and shipping options.

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AFTER PURCHASE: Please email me your phone numbers; I prefer to speak to all purchasers personally.

I do everything I can to make your purchase a pleasurable experience.

I’ve been selling obscure vintage vehicles on ebay since 2002.

Sharing similar interests, I’ve become good friends with many of my customers.

Please feel free to email or phone with any comments or questions…

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VEHICLE CONDITION: Vintage vehicles are wonderful beasts

– but each has an individual personality and they sometimes have bad days just like you and me.
You will need basic mechanical skills (or a local mechanic) to use one on a regular basis.

Two-strokes invariably need basic servicing before starting them, if they’ve been left to stand for more than 3 weeks or so.

These are rare vehicles whose values are not necessarily based on running order.

IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THE ABOVE, PLEASE DO NOT BID.

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If you have any questions about this (or any other vehicle in these BuyVintage Online Auctions),
you can contact Colin in our Customer Service Department between 9am and 7pm daily:

By Phone – (UK 0044) 07866-126469

By email – Buyvintage@mac.com

The Auction Catalogue is our website –

http://www.BuyVintage.co.uk

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Published on April 15, 2010 at 2:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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