Page 165. 1949 Vimer Cyclemotor Engine 45cc. SOLD

1949 Vimer ‘Moteur Auxiliaire’ 45cc

A Historic French Cyclemotor Engine – Designed in 1941!

My friend Patrick found this rare auxiliary engine. Not only is the engine itself rare, but what’s even rarer is that it’s complete, with all its fitting parts.

Pat and I have many half-completed projects because we must find or manufacture missing parts. So it was a pleasure to locate one that requires minimal work to fit to a bike and ride.

This was one of a pair of Vimers that were bought in 1949 by a man and his wife (and now sold by their son). My friend in Belgium bought the other one, so a race is on to see who rides theirs first.

Pat has got it running for me, and will bring it over to Brighton when he visits next week. If we can escape from our partners and kids for long enough we’ll put it into a bicycle and see what happens when we turn the pedals…




119 Ave Vaillant-Couturier

Gentilly, Seine

The Vimer has an interesting history, apparently being developed under the noses of the occupying Germans in 1941 in a corner of a French aerospace  factory. The first address of the company DF Constructeurs was 188 rue d’Alesia, Paris 14. Before and after the war they made wheels, brakes, shocks, compressors, starters, propellers, radiators, etc for the aerospace industry. The manufacturer was a Mr. Villard. The engine was named after him and his partner Mr. Mertion (VI llard and MER-tion). The engine eventually went into production in 1949, and the factory closed down in 1969.

The Vimer was marketed both as an engine to fit to your own bicycle, and also as a proprietary engine. Imerix made a special frame for the Vimer.

In 1952, the company CyclesMya, of 56 rue Fontaine au Roi, Paris 11° fitted the Vimer engine to their cyclemotors, naming the model Vimya. They also used le Poulain engines, and did not seem to use the Vimer again after 1952. Though not many engines were available in 1949 when the Vimer was introduced, by 1952 there was a lot of competition from other companies: this was now the heyday of moteurs auxiliaires.

The Vimer pictured below (from the internet) was factory fitted to a Vimya.

I was told that the Vimer inspired the development of the Cucciolo engine. Being developed as early as 1941, it certainly would have been one of the first small postwar engines to be fitted behind the pedals.

Incidentally, the name ‘mo-ped’ or ‘moped’ did not come into use until around 1955 but, as you can see from these photos, French companies were already turning their cyclemotors into ‘mopeds’ by 1950.

In the picture below, you can see a Foucaux cyclemotor fitted with both a Vimer engine (top of picture) and a VAP (bottom of picture).




Published on April 19, 2010 at 10:55 am  Leave a Comment  

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