Today in Motorcycle History

Mars Motorcycles

Address: Sigmundstrasse 40 Nürnberg

The Mars concern was founded in 1873 and built cast-iron stoves, machine tools and bicycles, and built automobiles between 1906 and 1908.

Mars began motorcycle manufacture in 1903 in Nuremberg using Fafnir and Zedel engines. They built the futuristic "White Mars" (Mars die Weisse) in 1921, designed by engineer Claus Franzenburg and fitted with a 986cc ¹ Maybach boxer twin in a box section pressed steel frame. The machine was a true work of art finished to a very high standard and priced accordingly. Production halted in 1924 during the worst of the inflationary period, and resumed in 1926. ²


The brothers Johann and Karl Müller resumed production in 1925 using the MA brand name, and in 1928 new models appeared with MAG engines, and later a variety of British powerplants were employed including Villiers, JAP and Sturmey-Archer.

Due to restrictions imposed by the Nazi government, British engines were dropped and from 1933 only machines using Sachs engines of 60cc to 98cc were built.

A 1937 brochure for Mars advertised a Motorfahrrad 121 A with an Ardie engine.

In 1950 Ing. Rudi Albert, previously chief designer at Allright and Phänomen, joined Mars and designed the Stella 1503 which was deservedly one of the most successful motorcycles sold in Germany at that time. These were available with Fichtel & Sachs 147, 178 and 198cc engines. Mars also employed both JLO and Raleigh engines.

The last of the Mars machines was the 48cc Monza. The Muller factory production ceased in 1958 and the manufacturing rights were transferred to Gritzner, who continued to produce the marque into the 1970s.

1. Sources vary on the capacity, some giving 956cc, others 986cc.
2. A 1983 Bundespost stamp shows a White Mars with the date 1925.
3. There was a French Stella marque which ceased production in 1953 and is sometimes confused with the Mars Stella. Another Stella brand existed in Italy from 1904 into the early 1920s. See Disambiguation
4. The Aristos used a remarkably similar design, and their frames were possibly supplied by Mars.
5. Two British marques used the name Mars. See Disambiguation

As an aside, a Mars A20 is featured in Kubrick's 1957 film Paths of Glory starring Kirk Douglas, ranked in the top 100 films by IMDB.

Worthwhile history resources: (bicycles only) (considerable information)

noel.jordant at
Ik zoek de beschermcover achter de carburator en de driehoekige plaatjes over de as van de swingarm van een Mars 175 cc
I look for the protective cover behind the carburetor and the triangular plates over the axis of the swingarm of a Mars 175 cc
Noel Jordant

Sat, 17 Mar 2018
franky.domingues.rocha at
Mars Monza 1957

Hi there. I have a Motor Bike MARS MONZA II from year 1957. The Motorbike runs all OK, no problems, it has only 21.000km and my question is how much it's worth? Do you know some interested companies or people that I could sell the motorbike? Best Regards
Franky Rocha
Aveiro Portugal

Fri Oct 19 2012
mars stella 1952
i have a mars stella mod. 1952 and i want to know how much money can i win if i sale it. please find me in facebook aris-georg atg thanks!i can't finde a photo right now.thanks again!

Thu Jan 06 2011
cnc-engineerig<at>yahoo dot com
mars sachs 1950
required spare parts. how can i sell this antique.

Image possibly sourced from

Sat Feb 07 2009
vreenecf at gmail dot com
Mars Monza 1957
I have a Mars Monza 1957 model 50cc with a JLO motor.I wish to obtain more information as I hope to restore this classic.
South Africa
Chris van Reenen wrote:
I found pictures on the web, unfortunately the one I have will take a lot of work to look the same again.

Jlo piano G 50 Einbaumotor

Motor: Luftgekühlter EinzylinderZweitakt, Bohrung 38, Hub 43, Verdichtungl :6,5,Dauerleistung 1,25PS bei 5250 U/min., Höchstdrehzahl 5400 U/min.

Vergaser: Bing 1/10/43 bzw. Pallas P 10/1 mit Ansauggeräuschdämpfer.

ElektrischeAnlage: Schwungradlichtmagnetzünder 6 V 17 W, Kerze 225/14 u 2, Gewinde M 14.

Getriebe und Antrieb: 2 Gänge, MehrscheibenkuppJung im Ölbad, Primärantrieb durch Synchroflex-Präzisions-Zahnriemen, Sekundärkette 172 X 3/16, Abstufung 1 :11,3:6,8, Kraftübertragung durch Kette auf Hinterrad.

Kraftstoff und Schmierung: Öl-BenzinGemisch 1:25. Verbrauch: Normverbrauch 1,5 Ltr.l 100 km.

Steigfähigkeit (ohne Mittreten): ca. 18%·

Gewicht: 9 kg.

Hersteller: Süd-Jlo-Werk, München

Sun Nov 30 2008 at yahoo dot com
mars sachs motorcycles
i have 2 mars sachs motorcycles running condition i want to sell these bikes.

Fri Dec 01 2006
balvarez007 at gmail dot com
MARS Stella 1952
I bought a 1952 Mars stella, 150cc sachs engine. does anybody know where to get parts for the engine ??

Mon Nov 20 2006
s.gutmann at
"White" Mars 1000 wanted

Mars 1000 wanted, any condition, also fragments, parts.
Please send your offer and pictures to s.gutmann at
Best regards
S. Gutmann
stuttgart, Germany

February 12th 2005
Mars motorcycle postage stamp on Ebay

subject: Mars Motorcycle
Email: fparmenter at
message: I bought a 1954 125cc Mars Motorcycle in 1965 while I was in Germany. do you have any information on these motorcycles?

The Monza Super Sport was introduced by the German motorcycle company MARS in 1957. When MARS closed down in 1958 the production was taken up by Gritzner.

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