Archive index   Go to the Archive index

Book Review

The book's front cover

Encyclopédie des Cyclomoteurs Français
by Patrick Negro

ISBN 978-2-7268-9686-0

192 pages, 23cm×31cm, fully illustrated in colour, hard covers, French language, E-T-A-I, 2013

Mobylette, VéloSoleX and Peugeot are well known French mopeds here in the UK but there were many, many others.  Interest in the rarer makes seems to be on the increase—a timely moment, therefore, for the publication of this new book.

There were hundreds of different makes of French moped and listing every one of would be an impossible task—nevertheless this book has a good attempt at the task.

For many moped enthusiasts, Jean Goyard's Le Temps des Mobs has been the standard reference work on French machines.  Published in 1995, it's now out-of-print, leaving a gap in the market that Patrick Negro's book admirably fills.

This encyclopedia is laid out in four chapters.  The first is a history of cyclemotors and mopeds in France, followed by a chapter on their use in sport.  Then we get to the main encyclopedia part.  The first section of this is an alphabetical list of the engines: moteurs auxiliaires (cyclemotor units) and moteurs adaptables (proprietary moped engines), concluding with a brief glimpse of the after market accessories that were produced.

Finally, chapter four, which takes up about seven-tenths of the entire book, is an alphabetical list of makes of moped—over 400 of them.  The information on a make can be anything from one line to several pages amd there are copious illustrations.  The pictures are mostly from period brochures and advertisements with some recent photographs of surviving machines.

There's no index but, as everything is listed alphabetically, that doesn't matter.  Cross-referencing is dealt with in the text so, for example, the entry for ‘Dilecta’ mentions ‘De Dion-Bouton’ (and vice versa) and, to get full value from the book, you need to follow these references.

All in all, this is an excellent book that more than fills the gap vacated by Le Temps des Mobs going out of print.  If you have an interest in French mopeds, you'll want this book.  Even if you're one of the lucky ones who has a copy of Le Temps des Mobs, you'll still want this book.

August 2013

Archive index   Go to the Archive index