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Motorcycle production began in the early 1920s at Charenton, near Paris, and in 1927 the factory moved to Joinville-le-Pont. In later years the address was that of the Chaise parent company, Omnium Métallurgique et Industriel, 34 rue A.Lançon PARIS (13°).
Early Dollar machines were fitted with 125 to 250cc singles from Moser and later they used JAP and MAG, before switching to almost exclusively Chaise engines.
The origins of the Dollar marque date back to 1850: Foucher and Delachanal mechanical engineers.
Louis Delachanal (1857-1920) began his career at Ets Foucher, a precision engineering and and locksmith company. He later he married Juliette, the daughter of his employer. He became head of the technical section of Omnium cycles, a new firm established in Paris with Foucher in 1890. The business prospered and moved to a new factory in Charenton and by 1914 only the Delanchal name appeared in the Omnium sales literature for bicycles, carrier tricycles and locksmith products.
The name "Dollar" was introduced, capitalising on the fashionable obsession of the time with all things American. The motor bicycles, powered by Moser 123cc engines, were presented at the October 1923 Paris Salon and were well received. The diminutive machines proved fast and reliable, and achieved many racing victories and several records. As Dollar already had an extensive agency network for their bicycles, market penetration was excellent and the new motorcycle marque thrived. In 1925 they added 175 and 250cc models.
By 1926 the range consisted of 12 models including a triporteur, all with Moser engines. In 1927 production moved from Charenton to a new factory in Joinville-le-Pont. That year the first Chaise-equipped machine appeared - this engine caused quite a sensation, having an overhead camshaft and hemi-spherical combustion chamber, and by 1929 production units were powered almost exclusively by Chaise.
1930 proved eventful - The depression was biting deep, and Dollar was indebted to Chaise for the numerous engines they had supplied. Chaise had recently changed hands and the new owners then took control of Dollar to resolve the debt.
Pride of the 1932 fleet was a 750cc unit powered by a Chaise V four, an engine which was later used in aircraft and which influenced the designs of several other builders in both Italy and France (notably the Majestic which had a close association with Delachanal). More on the Dollar V4...
The marque survived until the onset of war in 1939.
More on the History of Dollar Motorcycles
Dollar Models 1923-1939
N.B. In the mid-1950s Follis marketed motorcycles under the Dollar brand.
I suspect this is an aftermarket item from the 20s or 30s which could have been fitted to any make or model.
Image posted to Comments
Wed Jul 07 2010
bonneville<at>dollar-motorcycles dot com
we are a french team who ll go to Bonneville in 2011 with a Racing Dollar motorised by a 500 JPA for more informations : dollar-motorcycles.com (404)
Sat Feb 20 2010
nikolausrist at yahoo.de
Dollar 250 ohv
DOLLAR chaise motor
Hi, need copy or some owner manuel from a Dollar 250 ohv built 1930. Who can help me? Thank's
Suche Papiere/ Kopieen
Dollar 250 chaise Motor
Hallo, suche Papiere/ Kopien von einer Dollar 250OHVoder Literatur. Wer kann mir helfen? Danke!
Fri Mar 06 2009
pjehanno at aol dot com
dollar not sure 250 or the G 3
I have a picture of my grand father on a dollar motorcycle, but not sure
wich one it is ? and love to by the one on the picture .
new york USA
Thu Jan 22 2009
b.geutskens at hccnet.nl
Motorbike Dollar 1927
Dollar ESS 6 ?
I can buy a motorbike which looks like a Dollar, but has a Zürcher engine. Frame number 2644C engine SMAC B4 277 Zurcher. Year 1927. Has Dollar used Zurcher engines? Does the combination look original? Thank you, regards Ben Geutskens, Holland
Sat Feb 16 2008
ray at mcar62.myzen.co.uk
Dollar P2 250cc
The model I own and use is a 250cc O.H.V. Chaise engined machine.
Year of manufacture 1929.
Wed Dec 21 2005
j.brakke at hetnet.nl
Dollar Chaise 1927-1932 ?
I have a Dollar 350 cc.
Please i want more information, can you help me? I live in Holland.
Mon Aug 29 2005
johnqian at gotadsl.co.uk
dollar motorcycle (french)
I have one in complete and untouched condition. It has the chaise engine. No picture at the moment. Interested persons may contact me.
If you have a query or information about Dollar motorcycles please contact us