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[Photos] Xe Vélo Solex: A Forgotten Saigon Classic

Both bicycles and motorbikes have long played an important role in the lives of Vietnamese (and at times, its occupiers). Starting in the 1950s, French-made motorized bicycles known as Solex became increasingly popular in Vietnam, due to their comparatively low price point and ease of use.

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The company changed hands a number of times since it launched in 1946, owned successively by Dassault, Renault, Motobécane/MBK. By the time production ended in France 42 years later, over 7 million units had been sold worldwide.

Most of these bikes disappeared from Saigon’s streets long ago but have been immortalized in old photos like the ones below.


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