Go to the Archive index
It was another hugely successful trip to the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht at the end of February. This years event was, like last years, held over three days: Friday- Sunday. I dont think there is a bigger autojumble on the continent which is so easy to get to from the UK and which is wholly under cover. Although I didnt count them, from the plan provided in the Dutch/Belgian fortnightly car/motor cycle magazine Courant, there were some 500 stall holders in four large halls including many club stands and one-make car/bike displays.
There was an impressive display of cyclemotors mounted on the Rijwiel Hulpmotor Club Nederland stand where information was being freely dispensed. On display were the following very nicely restored machines belonging to various club members and which were attracting a lot of attention: 1951 Rex, 1953 Berini, 1952 Cyclemaster, 1951 Mosquito, 1952 Mini-Motor and a couple of mopeds - a 1950 Mobylette and a 1949 Le Française Diamant. The prize exhibit as far as I was concerned was a Dutch-made Wingwheel - front wheel mounted and not to be confused with the BSA Winged Wheel, Just to one side was a restored Berini M13 (Eitje - the egg) on a cycle, complete in ride-off condition for Nfl1,500 (£470), an example which would have graced anyones collection which did not contain a foreign make.
What else was there to be seen? First of all it might be easier to list what was not seen. Among this category was a Lohmann, a Velo-Vap and a Flink. On previous visits, examples of all these had been noted. What was observed and available for purchase at appropriate prices were (engines only) - Berini M13, ABG VAP4, Victoria (Nfl725 = £225), several Nassettis and Cucciolos, JLO, MAW (East German), VéloSoleX, Mosquito, Wingwheel (Nfl425 = £130), a rough incomplete Mini-Motor (Nfl175 = £55), Power Pak, Cyclemaster, BSA Winged Wheel -no tank (Nfl425 = £130). Complete machines: MAW on cycle for restoration, just crossed the border and mainly complete (Nfl475 = £150); Mosquito on cycle (Nfl775 = £240) and a German Rex on a cycle. There were many variations on the Solex theme from the small, hard to get parts (many for the older machines, including engine mounting plates) through pistons & rings, rollers and the plastic items, right up to complete machines: a very nice 3800 in apparently good condition (Nfl150 = £47); older Benelux versions, approximately equivalent to a 2200 (Nfl350 = £110 and f400 = £125) and the small-wheeled 5000 model such as has been seen at our Stowmarket and York runs (Nfl475 = £150). There were two of this relatively rare version available and also a couple of the shaft drive 6000 Flash version. Transfers and self-adhesive decals for a whole range of Solex models were also available over the counter, as well as instruction books and parts lists.
There are few places where one can readily buy books on cyclemotors just like that and Vehikel is one of them. I was there for some five hours and I am grateful to my Dutch friends for being so patient. It was tiring and although I saw other things like a double deck ex-London Transport bus, vintage tractors and stationary engines, military vehicles and a very nicely restored Spitfire aero engine; I did not even look at the extensive range of classic and vintage car displays, the toys and automobilia sections, such was my interest in the cycle, motor cycle and cyclemotor stalls. For anyone contemplating the acquisition of a Continental machine, this is definitely the place to go and, with the trade barriers down next year, there should be no problems in bringing one into the UK. The fact that it is in Holland and the language may be thought to be a barrier is not true - there were several British stall holders there and most of the local people speak enough English to be able to arrange a deal. If the worst comes to the worst. one can always resort to pen & paper for prices. It does work, I can assure you.
First published - April 1992
Go to the Archive index