The Monet & Goyon company was founded in 1916, during the Great War. Joseph Monet was an engineer and Adrien Goyon put up the finance, and they collaborated in order to make invalid carriages for the many injured French soldiers. Formally established on 2nd April, 1917, Monet & Goyon was the only French enterprise at that time building invalid carriages, which were called ‘Fauteuil’ (above) and ‘Velocimane’ (below). As you can see from the advert below, they also tried to promote the Velocimane for ‘sport and tourism.’ I assume that as it was still a novelty at its inception, there was not any stigma attached to riding an invalid carriage if you were not injured.
By 1919 they had contracted with the Wall Autowheel company in Great Britain to fit these engine attachments to their tricycles in order to provide a motorised version. This was the precursor of the famous Villiers-powered Monet & Goyon ‘Automouche’ motorised tricycle of the 1920s and their ‘Velauto’ two-wheeled version.
1922 Monet & Goyon VELOCIMANE Mixte ‘ Type G’ Tricycle
with Front Suspension Unit
20″ Wheels (500/B x 38) with Original Tyres
Interior Width of the Chair: 47cm
The VELOCIMANE tricycle was Monet Goyon’s trademark design throughout the 1920s. This example was advertised as a ‘Mixte’ i.e. designed for both men and women. A very strange feature is the suspension unit on the front end. Seeing it in the side profile photograph above, one would assume this to be a weak point with the entire weight of the vehicle resting on it. However, as you can see below, the suspension unit is actually the entire front fork assembly including the wheel and the handlebar.
Neither earlier nor later models of pedal tricycle had this front suspension. Either the company tried it out first as a prototype pedal-operated version, and then used it for one of their first motorised tricycles; or, more likely, they offered the ‘Type G’ in both pedal and motorised versions.
TRANSLATED TEXT: 1922 VELOCIMANE MIXTE ‘TYPE G’ TRICYCLE
This model first appeared in 1922.
Commercial characteristics of VELOCIMANE Mixte G Tricycle
Three wheels: Two large rear wheels and small front wheel with directional handlebars
Brake on the front wheel control on the handlebars
Crankset with chain transmission only on the rear wheel left
No differential – with transmission chain hand Crank on the front wheel
Front suspension by opposing springs in the steering column
Comfortable seat with cushion of wicker
Notes: VELOCIMANE Mixed “G” : Engine advocated for the ladies
Translation from French brochure for the 1922 Monet & Goyon VELOCIMANE Mixte ‘G’
(with thanks to the Monet-Goyon Club – ‘Historique MG’)
This rare tricycle comes from an old friend in France with a private museum collection. It has been mechanically restored. The wicker seat and rear box are in excellent condition, and it retains its original 1920s tyres. Monet & Goyon was a remarkably innovative company: not only did this machine feature front suspension, but the front hub brake is very advanced for its time.
MONET & GOYON TRICYCLES
I’ve not managed to find a catalogue illustration of this exact model, but the MG Club has provided some pictures of the other models…
The MG Club does not know when the above version was manufactured. I assumed that it would have taken the company a few years to establish full production after WW1, but the Velocimane Mixte Modele K, below, was apparently advertised in 1917, and made through the 1920s.
The 1921 MG Velo-Fauteuil Type G1, below, is similar to the example featured on this page, but without front suspension.
The 1921 Monet Goyon Velocimane Type A, below, is powered by hand pedals, so could also be used as an invalid tricycle. (The advert at the top of the page is for this model).
And here is an advert for the motorised version, the the Automouche 2 CV, which was recommended in particular for ladies – ‘La Moto Speciale Dame.’
The two-wheeled ‘Velauto’ – introduced in 1921 and seen above and below – is a unique style in that it retains the bodywork of the Automouche motorised tricycle. It was France’s first ‘motor scooter.’ This new style of open-frame machine had already become popular in Great Britain.
MONET & GOYON TYPE G: MOTORISED TRICYCLE
I sold this Motorised Type G some years ago. It predates the Automouche. As you can see, the front suspension is better suited to the Type G once an engine is fitted, with the extra weight at the rear counterbalancing the suspension.
Monet & Goyon info with thanks to – http://www.monet-goyon.net/TricyclesAVG.html
Motorised Type G – http://zabytkowemotocykleirowery.pl/monet_amp_goyon/en