This machine is powered by a top-of-the-range Cucciolo 48cc engine. In Italian cucciolo means ‘Little Puppy’ and this early 4-stroke bicycle auxiliary engine is one of the earliest Ducati models …from the days before Ducati made complete motorcycles!
By 1952 the Cucciolo engine had already proven itself in the gruelling Paris-Nice road races and, fitted to various cyclemotor configurations, was the most popular choice for competitors.
This one was factory-fitted to this top-of-the-range cyclotandem built by the company Camille Daudon. This cyclotandem is essentially a bicycle tandem that has been uprated by the constructeur to stand the extra stresses resulting from motorization.
Whereas, in Great Britain, bicycles and cyclemotors (or mopeds) were manufactured for the masses and sold on the basis of their competitive prices, in France, since the twenties, there had also been a market for extremely upmarket ‘fashionable’ cyclemotors. Their selling
point? – Exclusivity and their high prices.
In its day, this machine would have been one of the most expensive cyclemotors you could buy. It was a bespoke creation …and the manufacturer’s shop was in the Champs Elysees! This was the equivalent of the ‘Brough Superior’ of the cyclemotor world.
Above is a 1952 illustration of the set-up.
Image and description courtesy BuyVintage.com