Today in Motorcycle History

History of Terrot Motorcycles

The modest workshops built in 1887 by Charles Terrot on the current location of the factory (rue André-Colomban à Dijon) were first used in the construction of knitting machines. Bicycle manufacturing began in 1900 and new factory buildings were created. New products were added to the catalogue: in 1899 quadricycles after De Dion, in 1900 two-seater voiturettes, and in 1902 motorcycles. Automobiles were built from 1910 to 1914. By this time, the marque was very well known.

Shortly after the end of the 1914-1918 war the company was confiscated by the state for suspected collusion with the enemy. Taken over in 1921 as a public limited company by a group of industrialists headed by Alfred Vurpillot (CEO from 1921 to 1933), the Terrot business boomed. Due to the firm's visionary administration and the technical prowess of Vurpillot's son Jean, the business developed rapidly. In 1922 Terrot formed a partnership with Magnat-Debon. By 1928 Terrot was the foremost French manufacturer of motorcycles.

In 1934 Edmond Padovani of Corsica (1) (who later became their most famous designer) joined Terrot as a rider. At this time the ramifications of the 1929 stock market crash were increasingly evident and by 1936 production fell despite diversification in prams (1934) and sidecars (in 1938).

Participation in the war effort in 1939 actually start production in 1940 but the factory was occupied by the Germans and ceased all two-wheel manufacturing, turning its machines to the production of generators for Zundapp.

In 1941 Padovani designed a prototype 100cc (the MTRC) which was the basis for future 125cc. From 1940 to 1944 some machines were assembled from existing stock, mostly GDR and RCMA.

Post-war Era

Limited production resumed in 1946, with the first 125 type EP (named for the designer, Edmond Padovani) appearing in 1947. This was the machine which proved the lifeblood of Terrot throughout the fifties.

Two other models (a 250cc scooter and the OSSD) were not well received and caused the company a serious setback.

Padovani returned to the company in 1956 and new models were on the drawing board, but the writing was on the wall. Cheap cars and other factors led to waning popularity of the motor cycle. In 1960 the marque was absorbed by the Peugeot group.

1. Corsica is a jewel, and has some of the most interesting motorcycling roads this writer has ever seen. (Just had to give it a plug - lurve the place!)


Terrot Models

There are over 190 different Terrot models.

1919 Models
Model A 2 1/2 hp , Model B 500cc V-twin, Model D 2-3/4 hp Zedel.

Terrot 1922 Models

Types A, E two speed, E1 direct drive, E2 Sport

Terrot 1923 Models
Types IT, ET, ET1 direct drive, GT 350cc

Terrot 1924 Models
Cyclorette LC 175, LCK 175, Motorette Type L 175, LD 175, Motorette Type ET 270cc, ET2 270cc, GSS 350 JAP OHV

Terrot 1925-1926 Models
Terrot FT Tourisme
In 1925 Terrot launched Type F, a lightweight motorcycle equipped with a two-stroke engine of 247 cc of his own design, rated for 3 hp. The F-Type was initially offered in two versions: the Tourisme with two-speed gearbox and belt drive and the Sport-Luxe, with a three speed and a secondary chain. Models derived from the F-type were proposed in the '30s.

1925 Models

Motorette L 175cc Tourisme, Cyclorette LC 175 Sport, Motorette LCK 175, Type LD 175 Cadre ouvert (Dame)
Motorette 269cc FT Tourisme, FD Cadre ouvert
Motorette 247cc FS Sport-luxe
Motocyclette 4hp 346cc HT Tourisme, HS Sport,
Motocyclette HSS Supersport 346cc OHV JAP

1926 Models
2cv 175cc L, LS, LD Dame  (May pricelist lists LC, LCK, L, LD, LS)
3cv 250cc FGT, FSS, F, FD & FDC, FTC, FSSC Sport-Confort, MC3, MSS (May pricelist lists M2, M3, MC, MSS, MSSC)
4cv 350cc HT & HTC, HS, HSC, HSS, HSSC Supersport-Confort
No 500cc models for 1926

1930 Models

2cv 175cc: LC2 2cv Tourisme, LPP 2cv Populaire, LSO 2cv Sport, LDC 2cv Dame.
3cv 250cc: FSO 3cv Sport, FTO 3cv Tourisme, QTC 3cv Sport-Luxe, OSSE 3cv Supersport
4cv 350cc: HOS - 4CV Sport Luxe, HOT 4CV Tourisme Luxe, HST 4CV Standard, HSSO1 4CV Supersport, HSSR 4cv Supersport, HSSE 4cv Supersport Luxe
5cv 500cc: NSO 5cv Sport, NTO 5cv Tourisme, NSSO1 5cv Supersport, NSSO2 5cv Supersport

1930 Galllery

1931 The Terrot V series was launched in 1931 using the JAP 680 engine, followed in 1934 by the 750cc VA which remained in limited production until 1939. It was also marketed by Magnat-Debon as the VMA.
The VATT was very similar, being produced from 1936 to 1940 and was often fitted with a sidecar.

Terrot 1931 Models
2cv 175cc LO, LST, LDC Dame
3cv 250cc FST, OSC, OSSE,
4cv 350cc HST, HL, HSST Supersport, HSSL,
5cv 500cc NL, RL Monobloc, NSSL
7cv Type V 680cc Tourisme

1932-33 Models
1cv 100cc Homme et Dame velomoteur, 2cv 175cc LU, LST, LDC Dame,
3cv 2T - 250cc FLG Standard
3cv 4T -225cc 4T PU Utilitaire, 250cc OLG Standard
4cv 4T - 350cc HLG Standard, HSST Supersport
4cv Monobloc - 350cc HML Tourisme Luxe, 350cc HR Supersport luxe
5cv Monobloc - 500cc RL Tourisme, 500cc RSS Supersport

1933 Models
100cc VM, VMG, VM2, VMG2, VMO, VMO2
Twostrokes; LU 175, LST 175, LDC 175, FLG 250cc
4T Standard: PU 225, PO 250, OLG 250, OSSE Supersport, HLG 350, HSSG 350 Supersport
4T Monobloc: HML 350, HR 350, RL 500, RSS 500 Supersport

1934 Models
Velomoteurs - 100cc VM, VM2 2 speed, VMO Dame, VMO2 2 speed Dame
Twostroke Legeres - 175cc LU, LST, LDC 3 speed; 250cc FLG 3 speed
Four-stroke legeres, 3 speed - 175cc LR, 225cc PU, 250cc PO
Four-stroke Standard - 250cc OSSE OHV, 350cc HLG SV, 350cc HSSG OHV

Monobloc Luxe - 350cc HML SV, 350cc HML4 SV, 350cc HR OHV 4 speed, 500cc RL SV 4 speed, 500cc RSS OHV, 750cc VA V-twin
Competition - 175, 250, 350, 500cc

Terrot 1935 Models
Velomoteurs - 100cc VM, VM2 2 speed, VMO Dame, VMO2 2 speed Dame
2cv 2T: 175cc LU 2 speed, LST 3 speed.
2cv 4T 175cc LR cubultures, 250cc PUO Sidevalve
4T Standard: 250cc POH SV, 250cc OSSG OHV, 350cc HD SV, 350cc HSSG 4 speed OHV
4T Monobloc: 350cc HMD SV, 350cc HR OHV 4 speed, 500cc RL SV 4 speed, 500cc RSS OHV
750cc VA V-twin
Competition models: 175, 250, 350 500cc

1936 Models
1cv 100cc Velomoteurs - Modele homme and dame, 5 in total
2cv 2T 175cc - LU, LST
2cv 4T - 175cc Supersport
3cv 4T - 250cc PUO Utilitaire, 250cc OSSG Supersport
4cv 4T - 350cc HU Utiliaire, 350cc HD Standard, 350cc HSSG Superport
4cv Monobloc - 350cc HMD Tourisme, 350cc HR Superport
5cv Monobloc - 500cc RD Tourisme, 500cc RSS Supersport
7cv Twin - 750cc VA

1950 Models
1ch 100cc MT1 (M.349), 1ch 125cc ETD, 4ch 350cc HCT, 5ch 500cc RGST

1951 Models
1ch 100cc MT, 1ch 125cc ETD, 4ch 350cc HCT, 5ch 500cc RGST

1953 Models
Scooter VMS 100cc, Cyclorette 50cc, 125cc ETD, 250cc OSSD, 350cc HCTL, 500cc RGST

1957 175 Tournoi and 125 Fleuron

Tenor 175cc 1961 - 1962
175 Rallye

Terrot-built engine types include IT and MT1.
Terrot also used engines from Givaudan, Zedel MAG, Dufeaux, Chater-Lea and JAP.

Sources: Cycle Memory et al

Quite extensive model information available at La Memoire de Terrot Dijon and at Terrot Club Pyrenees

If you have a query or information about Terrot motorcycles please contact us