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A visit to a traction engine rally in Germany at the end of August 1992 also gave the opportunity to visit a couple of museums associated more with another interest - cyclemotors. The rally, which takes place every two years, was held at Bad Laer, not far from Osnabrück and a look at local tourist information provided details of the Old Timer Route, a 200km mapped-out route visiting some eight museums en route between Ibbenbüren and Bad Oeynhausen in the Tecklenburger Land. Included in these museums were some with themes relating to motoring and, although the time spent in Germany did not allow all to be visited, two likely ones were picked out and in both instances we were lucky to find both autocycles and cyclemotors - and much else of interest as well. The Roller und Kleinwagen Museum at Bad Iburg (DM3,50 entrance) featured mainly scooters (Roller) and microcars (Kleinwagen) but also had a relatively large number of cyclemotors and autocycles among its collection. All were neatly displayed and captioned, brightly lit and not too tightly packed in. The main hall at ground level displayed the microcars, unusual ones being a Lloyd LS300, Fuldamobil N2, Fiat Vignale Gamine and a 1974 AWS-Shopper. For British enthusiasts there was also a Peel Trident, a Leeds produced Scootacar and, perhaps surprisingly, a mint Sinclair C5. On the walls surrounding the car collection, which amounted to some 17 full-size exhibits, were about 60 pedal cars of various shapes and sizes together with childrens scooters - one of which was a ratchet driven one similar to one used by the author on a visit to an aunt in Germany some 40 years ago. The design has never apparently been taken up here but it left a lasting impression for it to be recalled so vividly on seeing the exhibit in question. Also, in display cases adjacent to the entrances, were some 2500 model cars of various sizes and scales, together with the badges of car and lorry manufacturers Europe-wide.
Upstairs and almost in make order in their own show-cases were many scooters and autocycles by the same manufacturers, surrounded by typical late 50s, early 60s impedimenta. There were record players, reel to reel tape recorders, picnic sets and contemporary garage equipment whilst piped music from the same era came over the loud speaker system. Types represented included NSU Quickly (F, N, 23) and NSU-Lambretta scooters, Simson (moped SR2E & Spatz), Zündapp (Combinette 428 & 405, Falconette 445), Triumph-Knirps, Mammut, Victoria (Vicky III, Luxus, Preciosa, Peggy, Nicky), Miele (K50 & K50 Moped), Kreidler K50 moped, Achilles Capri, Durkopp Fratz, Rixe and not forgetting a 1946 home-produced Corgi.
Between upstairs and the ground floor and under the stairs was the collection of cyclemotors and other similar machines, some of which were types new to the author. Included were machines as listed, most of which were neatly labelled: Victoria FM38, 1958; Flink, 1953; Lutz, 1948; Mosquito on Mosquito cycle, 1969; Rex FM34, 1951; Lohmann 18cc, 1951; Berini 32cc, 1952; Eilenriede 48cc, 1953, with a head lamp incorporated in the fuel tank; Küchen-motor 38cc, 1951; Cyclemaster 1951, 32cc although painted black; Scoto scooter with Mosquito 38cc motor; VéloSoleX 1957 by Van Heem, Nederland with old-style engine; Solex 5000 in orange, 1972; VéloSoleX Micron in red, 1972; Steppke-Motor, 1954, 37cc; MAW-Motor, 49cc, 1954 (the latter two from the former East Germany); JLO; and a 1986 Hercules Saxonette (30cc) of the type currently available for sale both in Germany and in Holland with the in-wheel Sachs motor on a conventional bicycle. There was also o 1972 French VéloSoleX and another Lohmann, this one in a glass case along with various cycle lamps and other similar exhibits.
It was certainly a splendid collection and one to make a note of should holidays take the reader in that direction.
About 30km away, just outside the town of Ibbenbüren, are a couple of museums - one being titled Dem Auto-Museum Geschichte auf Rädern Ibbenbüren, the other Motorrad-Museum Ibbenbüren. Time was pressing so we chose the Motorrad-Museum (motor cycle museum) in the hope of finding something of further interest. We were not disappointed and were rewarded with another very good museum with several cyclemotors and other machines right in our line of interest. The layout and mode of display was somewhat better and less cluttered than Bad Iburg but there were not as many machines on display, the owners preferring to concentrate on the big machines for that was clearly what the majority of customers came to see. The relatively large collection of motor cycles included such names as Horex, Mars, CZ, Zündapp, Indian, Adler, D-Rad, BMW, DKW, Panther, Standard, NSU, Diel, BAM, Opel and Moto Guzzi. Cyclemotor included a Rex; Rabeneick Taxi M14 (the German version of the Cyclemaster with a shield and capital R on the magneto cover instead of the British CM); JLO F48, 1951; Victoria FM38 displayed on the manufacturer's eye-catching display stand; Lohmann type 500, 1952; Honda P50; VéloSoleX 1969; VéloSoleX Flash 6000, 1975; Sachs Saxonette, 1938; Cockerill Piccolo, 1924, 34cc; Kreidler Florette; Hercules moped; NSU Quickly, 1957; Avros moped; Mobylette (M1 and N150 mopeds; and an Italian Zanetti. This latter, in black, was only the second of this make to have been seen - it is a folding tubular-framed machine looking very much like a Solex with an over front wheel friction drive motor. The other is owned by an NACC member in the North Yorkshire area.
Some of these machines were hung singly on walls and thus were eminently suitable for photographing. The standard of restoration was good and they were all clean and tidy.
It does seem that there are very many museums in and around Germany. It is a big place and reference to the local tourist information office is recommended. One never knows where it might lead or what one can discover on a do-it-yourself exploring holiday.
First published - April 1993
Please note that at least one of the museums described above, the Roller und Kleinwagen Museum at Bad Iburg, has closed since this article was written. Readers are advised to check before trying to visit any of these museums.
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