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.
Derny began production in 1949, specializing in the manufacture of auxiliary-engined bicycles and tandems, all powered by proprietary engines. The Derny Taon, or “Horse fly” was unveiled at the 1955 Paris Motorcycle Show. It was the creation of one of France's most noted industrial designers, Roger Tallon, and looked like nothing else on the road. Tallon was trained in engineering, rather than industrial arts; a fact reflected in his designs, which are thoughtful as opposed to lavish. He had a fascination with American industrial design, which had not yet become popular in France at that time. At the young age of 26, he had already worked for General Motors. Later, he would go on to teach design at L’École des Arts Appliqués and established the first design department in the country at the highly prestigious L’École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in 1963.
The Derny Taon is a unique example of the association between design and the motorcycle industry. It is full of boxy angles, yet the Taon’s sleek silhouette is not lacking in elegance. The 124cc, “Isard,” two-stroke engine, supplied by French engine maker A.M.C., hangs daringly beneath. The integrated front fender-gas tank-headlight surrounding the steering column-chassis-unit is all in one straight thrusting line, and gives The Taon its gazelle-like grace. The front fork passes through the headlight-tank unit as a single shaft, a feature of Moto Guzzi racers of the mid to late 1950s—a front leading-link Earle’s fork suspension that was briefly popular in road racing at the time.
The Taon enjoyed initial success, and an even more futuristic-looking 250 was in the works. But the two-wheeler market collapsed and Derny declared bankruptcy in 1958. Designer Roger Tallon would go on to achieve fame with, among many other industrial designs, his work on the TGV trains. In 2016, Roger Tallon (1929-2011) was honored in a retrospective at Paris’s Musée Des Arts décoratifs: “Roger Tallon, Design in Motion.”
Country of Origin: France
Engine: 124 cc, A.M.C. Isard, air-cooled, horizontal, single-cylinder
Top Speed: 56 mph
Years of Production: 1957-1958
Number Produced: Unknown
Original Cost: Unknown