Daily vehicle demonstrations at 11am, FREE with admission!
Please note that the cars or exhibit items shown in this database are part of our collection but may not be on display when you visit.
In 1926, Max Williams-Mourlot created “Mourlot & Cie” to manufacture small cyclecars. The company was established in Billancourt, France with hopes to fill the gap between the simplicity of a motorcycle and the size and complexity of a larger automobile.
The popular cyclecar of the early 1900s was an attempt to offer affordable cars. Cyclecars were lightweight and typically constructed from off-the-shelf motorcycle parts. They were assembled in small batches and scores of manufacturers proliferated throughout Europe. Because cyclecars were below a certain weight, licensing and taxing were at a reduced rate, further increasing their appeal. As simple as they were, clutches and variable gears were still a legal requirement. Compliance could be made by even the simplest devices such as the variable disc, friction drive seen on this Mourlot & Cie Max Cyclecar. Engine power is transferred to the drive wheels by means of a solid flat disk that engages a perpendicular wheel on the axel, without the use of toothed gears. The center of the disc is recessed where the wheel rests in a neutral position. A lever moves the wheel across the disc on its axle. From the slowest point near the center of the disc, the wheel is moved outward to make the car accelerate. A chain then drives the rear wheels. There is a clutch pedal that pulls the wheel from the disk, held there with a tension spring. Shifting the wheel to the opposite side of the disc takes the car into reverse, but has a stop so the car doesn’t go too fast!
Max Williams-Mourlot also produced a book: Pour Construire Soi-Même, Voiturettes à Pédales ou à Moteur, Side-Car, Cycle-Car, Petites Autos (Build Your Own Pedal or Motor Carts, Sidecar, Cycle-car, Small Economical Cars). It was published in 1947 as a practical guide, specifically for home-builders. Its pages were generously illustrated, which included measurements along with an abundance of practical tips. Among them are plans, ranging from trailers and sidecars to small gasoline-powered sportscars and pedal cars.
By the late 1920s larger manufacturers began making affordable cars that offered more than cyclecar companies and unfortunately, the Max could not compete.
Manufacturer: Mourlot & Cie
Country of Origin: France
Drivetrain Configuration: Front engine, rear wheel drive
Engine: Air-cooled, two-stroke, single-cylinder, 350cc
Transmission: Variable disc, friction drive
Top Speed: Unknown
Years of Production: 1927-1929
Number Produced: Unknown
Original Cost: Unknown