The Monotrace Two-Wheel Car.

Updated: 1 May 2004
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The Monotrace solved the problem of coming to a halt, without falling over, by having two small extra wheels (complete with mudguards) that were lowered by means of a lever when stopping. The wheels were swivelled upwards rather than being retracted into the body, so even if the driver forgot to lower the wheels when stopping (it must have happened) the car would tilt but not fall over completely.

Left: A Monotrace in a museum.

This 2-wheeler was made in France from 1924 to 1930. Very few were made and even fewer survive today.

Sorry about the Moiré; I have done all I can to clean it up.

Left: The Monotrace: side view.

La Monotrace was made at St. Etienne, Loire, in France.

Note the semi-circular steering wheel with wooden grips.

Left: The Monotrace, showing a stabiliser wheel cocked in the air, and the fishtail silencer.

Left: The Monotrace cockpit.

The handle of the lever for lowering the stabiliser wheels can be seen just above the seat back.

This picture and those following is of a restored 1928 Monotrace belonging to the Musée Henri Malartre, at Rochetaillée-sur-Saône (Lyon, France); the pictures appear by kind permission of the restorers KOHLER AG, Riedtwil

Left: The Monotrace engine .

The Monotrace had a single cylinder, 85mm x 90mm side-valve engine, (not sure which figure is bore and stroke, there) a three-speed gearbox and two chains in series to transfer the drive to the rear wheel. Power output is currently unknown.

Left: The Monotrace chassis with engine installed.

The big lever for lowering the stabiliser wheels is on the left. Judging by the size of it, considerable force was needed.

The rear of the chassis is to the right.

Left: Monotrace in Motion: photographed in 1928.

Note stabiliser wheel on the left lifted clear of the ground and "1928" on the front of the machine.

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