French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Dilecta and De Dion-Bouton Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Manufactured Etablissements Chichery, 1929-1933 (1)

131, Av. Gambetta, Le Blanc (Indre)

Models include:

1929-1932 AC 1
1929 AC 2
1929-1932 AC 4 OHV
1929-1932 AC 5
1929 Standard
1930 250, 350 & 350cc Sport
1931-1932 AC 3
1933 VĂ©lomoteur
1955-1956 Model n°43 Vap55, Model n°46 Vap55, Model n°46 Vap57
1957-1958 Model 75

Engines, both two-stroke and four-stroke, were sourced from Aubier-Dunne, Anzani, Soyer, Chaise, JAP and others.

In the mid-fifties Dilecta produced the Raider scooter which was available with 109cc VAP or 98cc Comet engines. It was very similar to the Monet-Goyon Starlett.

De Dion-Bouton 1920s

Dilecta acquired the rights to the De Dion-Bouton name and produced motorcycles under both the Dilecta and De Dion-Bouton marques, and it appears that some of the machines may be identified by the term "Le Blanc" incorporated in the emblem.

An Anzani-engined machine exists dated 1921. On the tank is a brass badge emblazoned "Etablishments De Dion-Bouton" and next to that is painted "De Dion Bouton Anzani". Whether it was built by De Dion or by Dilecta is open to debate, but the history of the original DDB company is fairly well established and there is little indication that they produced any motorcycles after the early 1900s. There is also an écclésiastique style 100cc BMA from around 1923 with DDB insignia.

Tragatsch does not identify the manufacturer, simply stating that there is no relationship with the original firm, and gives production dates of 1926-1930. However, he also says that Dilecta manufactured from 1920 to 1939, so a De Dion-Bouton from Dilecta as early as 1921 is not out of the question.

1. Indications are that manufacture began as early as 1921. Tragatsch gives dates of 1920-1939.

Sources: JLB Creations, Amis Terriens, Tragatsch pp113 and 116,

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