God’s Word declares:  “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) Another way of stating this is that history repeats itself. (BTW, that includes “global warming”.) We have a tendency to think that our modern day tadpole trikes are a relatively new innovation, but the truth is they have been around for a very long time. Now I am not talking about thousands of years, but they do go back about 140 years or so … 1875 to the best of my knowledge and understanding. I can’t post a picture of it here for fear of being sued so HERE is a link to a website where you can see it.

1928 velocar

Velocars have been around for a long time also and they still exist today. The one pictured above is from 1928.

1945 Mochet velocar

One of the very earliest was made in France by a man and his son. Their family name was Mochet. Slowly their product evolved from pedal power to small gas engine powered. The engine was 125cc which meant that no driver’s license was required to operate one. For a very long time there was no reverse gear, but eventually one was added. Much of the early history of this company and their product was during the Great Depression when money was scarce and life was difficult. Eventually they offered a model with a 175cc engine which required a driver’s license. They started producing commercial vehicles and went exclusively with those before closing the factory in 1958. Prior to closing Mochet produced 30 to 40 vehicles a month. Toward the end they produced a 750cc engine vehicle. Their demise occurred when the law was changed reducing the engine size from 125 cc down to 50 cc for no licensing required. They had produced vehicles for 24 years before shutting down. And it all started out as pedal power. I wonder what would have happened if they would have just remained all pedal power instead of motorizing them.

There is a well written and informative article found HERE about this company and their products. Here is an excerpt of the article:

“The pedals were connected by chains to an intermediate drive shaft located under the seats. From there, two chains with different gear ratios drove the rear axle. The gears were selected with a small lever under the driver’s seat that connected to an interesting clutch system. Mochet kept making improvements, adding a third gear and then a separate chain that was permanently engaged. It turned on a freewheel whenever one of the other gears was engaged, and acted as first gear when the lever was positioned in neutral.

People Powered – Velocars, Microcars, the Wars & the Mochets
As bicycles at the time got more gears, so did velocars finally getting up to 5 in 1940. The rear wheel hubs had unusual drum brakes with the shoes and linings on the outside of the drum. When you squeezed the brake handle, the brakes squeezed the drum. The Velocars were quite popular, believe it or not. They weren’t built by the thousands by any means, but people used them on holiday, to go to work, or to the store. You could get one with a little pickup-like box on the back to use as a delivery vehicle.”

velocar green


pedals inside

Velocars have had the form of tadpole, delta and quad. Some have had handlebars while others have had automotive type steering wheels. Some have had full bodies while others had only partial bodies.

1932 Mochet velocar

There were even 2 wheeled models. Here is one.

2 wheeled velocar

And here is a guy who made a modern day quad …

And here is another modern day one …

Lastly here is one I think you will enjoy watching …

Yes, tadpole trikes have been around for awhile, but that is not to say that they haven’t been greatly improved since their early days. Even the enclosed trikes are greatly improved over the early ones. Compare these two:

small quad

Ginzvelo right rear view

Yep, we have come a long way, baby!

It is great to know that thru the many years man has been able to …


FREE GIFT awaits you!

Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (

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