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Power-Pak Mo-ped...
Fact or Fiction?

Mark Daniels

Appearing as a 3/4 page spread in the Green 'Un on 27th October 1955, the following article announced a new machine from The Power-Pak Engineering Co with direct roller drive deployed, possibly with an intent to recycle the clip-on motor.  Other press releases suggested a de-Luxe model proposed at £64-15s while the Standard Mo-ped was being advised for £54-17s, though the £9-18s difference would surely account much more than the pillion pad and footrests added to the later display/photo machine.  Presumably the indicators, panniers, speedo and nacelle were being reconsidered as special equipment.  There has been much speculation between some parties as to how much of the model machine(s) was actually of Power-Pak origin, with features like the "carry handle" being so typically continental (does anyone recognise the frame to settle the question?)  It may only be speculated whether it was intended to factor or manufacture the final production cycle parts and just as much, what motor was actually represented by the little dark blob under the frame.  It would certainly have involved some significant changes to relocate the existing Power-Pak clip-on to this position, the cooling fins would have been in the wrong plane for a start!  Even before announcement of the P-P Mo-ped, clip-on motor sales were taking a substantial dive in favour of period mopeds having more practical features like a clutch & gears, so the new model would only have resulted in a machine obsolete before its launch.  Intended to replace the cyclemotor kit, the outdated Power-Pak moped failed to materialise and the planned 1,000 machines a week was just a dim dream.  Some sources quote the company's demise by 1956, however the Power-Pak cyclemotor unit remained on the market into the early 1960s.  It seems likely the P-P Mo-ped was never any more than a show prototype and that no machines actually made it to the retailers-unless of course you have one in your shed!

Headline from the Green
'UnPower Pak 
panniers and nacelle

"In contra-distinction to the lines of development of the mo-ped on the Continent, the Power-Pak "Moped," newly introduced by the Power-Pak Engineering Co., Ltd., of Coventry, follows the classic conception in being essentially a pedal-assisted machine.  Rather than run the risk of unjustified over-complication, the Power-Pak designers have taken as their target the production of a sturdy, serviceable machine which, though lavishly equipped, conforms to that standard of operational simplicity likely to appeal to the utility user.
Thus, in a field where two-speed - even three-speed - gearboxes and multi-plate clutches are becoming commonplace, the new British model strikes almost a Spartan note in remaining faithful to the well-tried roller drive direct from the engine to the rear tyre, incorporating the necessary flexibility in a power-plant which provides sufficient power to give a speed of over 30 m.p.h. coupled with a fuel consumption bettering 200 miles to each gallon of petroil.
The pressed-steel, beam-type frame is of attractive appearance, with integral 1/2-gallon fuel tank, and is equipped with link forks having pressed-steel blades.  The 26-in. wheels have hub brakes.  It is in its equipment, however, that the "Moped" scores heavily.  It has, for instance, a facia panel - mounted on the handlebars - which contains an illuminated speedometer, the ignition key, and illuminated switches controlling the lights and traffic indicators.  These last-named are of the winking type - mounted both fore and aft.  At the rear, they are incorporated in a combined stop-and-tail lamp.  Eminently sensible in view of the machine's likely employment is the provision of leather panniers as well as a rear carrier.
A production of 1,000 machines a week is envisaged, thanks to the acquisition of a large and modern factory in Coventry.  Deliveries are scheduled to begin in January of next year but up to the time of going to press, the price has not been settled.
The manufacturers of this mo-ped are no newcomers to the field of 50c.c. productions. For several years their well-known auxiliary units have been used widely."

First published, December 2000

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