Page 187. 1960 Hercules Corvette Moped

1960 Hercules Corvette Moped

Starts Easily & Runs Well

New MOT

Very Rare!

herculescorvette.jpg

That such an eccentric moped should bear the name of Corvette, which was, of course borne proudly by one of the most famous American sportscars, the Chevrolet Corvette, is somewhat ironic.

The Chevy was itself named after a small, very manoeuverable class of warship, smaller than a frigate but larger than a sloop-of-war, that had been in use with the French and British navies since the mid-17th century.

The Hercules moped has as little in common with a manoeuverable warship as it does an iconic Chevrolet thoroughbred sportscar, though presumably this previous use of the name is what allowed its use for the moped.

With little to recommend it at the time – apart, perhaps from some snazzy adverts – fifty years later, the Hercules Corvette is now one of Great Britain’s  rarest mopeds.

Corvette2.jpg

This 1960 model is even in running order and MOT’d. As the advert above suggests, let’s ‘make a date with Mademoiselle Corvette at our premises…’

What I liked most when I first saw this Corvette is that it’s in exactly the condition mopeds were in when I first started collecting them back in the seventies. It’s not restored at all, but brush-painted in boring brown and garish blue and with a stupid box on the back for a luggage carrier.

I have no interest in over-restored machines. I like my bikes ‘lived-in’ and this one is exactly that. So it’s not a time-warp from 1960. It’s a time-warp from the 1970s, when old mopeds were simply old bangers you kept on the road with any heath robinson modification.

The first thing that surprised me about it is that it’s so easy to start. In fact, it’s hard not to start it – there’s no decompressor, and with a bit of petrol still in the carb after running it, sometimes when you push it the engine kicks in and off it goes!

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THE HERCULES CORVETTE

Hercules Corvette 20001.jpg

The Corvette was essentially too little, too late. By 1960, when this Hercules moped eventually nudged its nose out of the door of various showrooms that had been coerced into stocking it, the NSU Quickly was already advancing towards 3 gears, and the duff British Raleigh with Sturmey Archer engine was about to be superseded by the very popular imported French Mobylette, duly re-badged as a Raleigh.

The end of the market that the Corvette was therefore aimed at – ie stodgy, slower, cheaper mopeds – was already well catered-for by Phillips Pandas and the like, plus a whole range of imported French and (often re-badged) German affairs. It lasted for only one year. It was probably dumped on the colonies to boost its sales record. Its only saving grace (retrospectively) was that it was the final motorized machine to bear the Hercules name badge. Ted Crane’s grave most likely stirred inconsolably.

One of many promotional aids for dealers who stocked the Corvette:

Corvette3.jpg

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LAVALETTE AML 50 ENGINE

LAVALETTE, Ets Lavalette, 32 avenue Michelet, St Ouen, France

The Lavalette ‘AML 50′ was a very basic French proprietary engine that had a reasonable reputation in France, but was mostly used on the basis of its cheap price. It was best known for its use in Paloma mopeds. As you can see from the chart below, the ‘AML 50′ engine used in the Corvette had been replaced in 1958, so Hercules no doubt purchased the engines at a knock-down price for their 1960 machine.

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Museum for Hercules Cycle & Motor Co

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://HerculesMuseum.wordpress.com

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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 for this motorcycle 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 September 16, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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