Mochet was primarily known as a bicycle manufacturer. Charles Mochet saw the advantages of pedaling from a seated position, wîth a backrest making the transfer of force easier.
An obviously Spartan model, the top and side curtains were optional equipment. During its production lifespan, around 650 examples were produced. The 99cc one-cylinder engine produced 2 horsepower and gave the vehicle a top speed of 21 miles per hour - or as fast as the driver and passenger were willing to pedal. The Velocar had two sets of pedals for both driver and passenger.
This particular example is a Type H. It is constructed from Wood and vinyl which helped keep its weight low, as well as to simplify construction. To start the vehicle, one must pedal to engage the engine. It has bicycle wheels with only the rear having brakes, along with a separate handbrake.Source - lanemotormuseum.org; Hilton Head Concours
Charles Mochet was a concerned father that came up with the idea of two-person, four-wheeled bike called the Velocar. Mochet was the maker of minimalist, pedal—powered quadricycles that were built on a tblar-steel chassis with bicycle-sized wheels and lightweight aerodynamic bodywork.
To soothe the fears of his wife, who feared that the common bicycle was too risky for their young son George, Charles built him a pedal-driven four-wheeled vehicle. In 1924 he came up with a concept that would allow one biker to relax while the other passenger continued pedaling, or could jump out the passenger-only door and push up the hills. The four-wheeler reduced the danger of falling over, and was exceedingly fast.
This vehicle was very popular to blind WWI veterans who could pedal, while the wife steered. The Velocar was a huge step up for those who couldn't afford the expensive motor car. Eventually the demand for the vehicles led Charles Mochet giving up the building of automobiles in favor of spending all of his energy to the construction of HPV's.
The Velocar was a two-seated, four-wheeled pedal-car that featured comfortable seating and the same trunk as a car, with the pedal propulsion of a bicycle. Three gears and a light fairing that was made up of airplane windshield material called Priplex completed the technical equipment. Much like the sharp-pointed boat-like shapes of the mid-twenties, the Velocar design came with a flatter though still angular nose that curved in a smooth shape from front axle to cowl. With an enclosed floor, the Velocar had tails that were teardrop-shaped with angular boxes that grew out vertically on the Camionette.
Beginning as a pedals-only vehicle, the Velocar was eventually fitted with a noisy, archaic market motor. Produced from 1926 through 1938, the Velocar was invented in Puteaux, Seine, France. The vehicle featured 88cc displacement, a length of 2,400mm, a width of 1,300mm and an overall weight of 100 kg.
The ‘Velo-Velocar' or ‘V-V' was responsible for breaking many world cycling records before unfortunately being banned from competition by the UCI, the cycling's governing body. Road and track versions continued to be built between 1933 and 1939. Velocar's were extremely fast and from time to time they were used as pace vehicles in bicycle races. Unfortunately, once they reached their limit at higher paces, cornering became very dangerous. One had to pedal extremely fast on a curved path, and every curve meant having to brake hard and re-accelerate. Mochet even experimented with a three-wheeled vehicle, but it tended to fall over in curves even worse than the four-wheeler.
The poor economy in France after the first World War aided the popular sales of the Velocar, as purchasing a ‘real' car was an impossible dream for many Frenchmen. The sales of the Velocar steadily increased until the thirties. Today the Velocar can still be found for rent on the beach in Marseilles and tour the city in an ecologically sound fashion. These little vehicles declined in popularity as more inexpensive powered vehicles became available.By Jessica Donaldson