I had the privilege to visit an older gentleman who is from my hometown and used to run a Motobecane/ solex dealership from his backyard. A two story garage/ shed with a hand made, wooden sign in the window that read “the moped shed”
Inside were 4 bikes, 2 very nice 40v models red and blue, a kinda crusty 40T in orange, and a lovely dove blue survivor 1957 av76. Traded in by a dentist from York who had apparently bought it in France himself. He exchanged it as a trade in towards a brand new VLX. Into the next room, the floors were cluttered with boxes. Rear bolt on racks, mirrors, turn signal pieces, all the bolt on options you could think of. Even a few helmets though not the Motobecane badged ones that he proceeded to show me in an old dealers ordering catalog. Up on the wall were little organizer bins, every drawer had a part number on it. NOVI nuts, spare coils, fork bushings, literally any small nut and bolt specific to a Motobecane had a spot it seemed. We started to go through his specialty dealer tools, I was lucky enough to pick a set up, almost complete other than the circlip pliers and timing tool as he only had one, and the pliers were missing. Some orange leg shields, rear racks for a car, wind screens, this place was so cool, but even cooler some of the history,
If I remember correctly, he had a friend in France, when he was visiting Paris, he had a chance to visit the actual Motobecane factory. His friend apparently was a businessman working with Motobecane, they normally did not let Americans in the factory, but as a guest of his his friend he was granted permission. As soon as he got back home he knew he wanted to start selling them, with the long term goal to move to the Bahamas or similar area to sell them there and sail, which was his real passion. He visited NY to attend classes and learned the in’s and out’s of the engines and how to service them. He even still has his old framed cirrificate. Sadly, the dream of becoming the Caribbean moped man slid to the wayside when visiting and seeing the conditions of the roads there. But still proceeded to sell them from his backyard, then eventually York PA, and State college PA.
He today sent me some photos via text he took on his phone, they are slightly washed out because they are actually slide projections being displayed on a wall he then photographed with his phone as sent to me,
Before a parade to advertise his York location him and his sons dressed as clowns.
“Motobecane- The Moped Shed- ### Market street York PA”
“Motobecanes laugh at high gas prices”
Here are some from the assembly line, very dark but still very cool
I told him of the forms and this summer he might take photos and redo inventory and post on here. He’s got a lot of cool old stuff and some darn cool stories.