Bike of the Month -January 2022

January’s ‘Bike of the Month’ belongs to Debra Banks (aka ‘The Rivetress’) who is probably better known for her superb Rivet leather saddles. Debra also has a fondness for ‘Mixte’ style frames and this is the latest addition to her collection.

Location: United States
Bicycle Make: AuToMoTo
Bicycle model: Mixte
Date of Manufacture:    1953

This is a new-to-me AuTomoTo  Mixte, a gift from a good friend. It sports a Cyclo three speed downtube shifter & rear derailleur, a Rveille 3 speed set of cogs to create the freewheel, a Pearl leather saddle in pretty good shape, and a Couron bottle dynamo. The rear light works, the front light bulb was broken during shipping across the US. The chainguard is a thing of beauty. The break levers are also sublime. The rack and metal boxes all work, open and latches are intact. It works, shifts, etc, although it could use a set of new tires.

Other information:
From the Classic Rendezvous site: “A popular Marque in the 1920’s-40’s/50’s…
They sponsored a team with Hutchinson that had included Bottecchia, the Pelisser Brothers, Gordini and Benoit. Automoto was the winning ride in the 1923, 1924 and 1925 Tours de France; Henri Pelisser in ’23 and Ottavio Bottecchia in ’24 & ’25.” Manufacturer of bicycles and motorcycles from 1902 ~ 1963. Sponsored a professional bicycle racing team from 1910 to 1952. Famous members included  Henri Pellisier (France), Ottavio Bottecchia (Italy) and Lucien Buysse (Belgium). Peugeot purchased Automoto in 1959 and continued to use the name on bikes they produced themselves until 1963.”

A person I know owned this bike and I first saw it a JP Weigle’s French Fender Day. Then it was sold, and soon after traded to a friend of mine who distributes Var Tools here in the US (VeloClassique & Mel Pinto Imports). Wayne gifted it to me this past September after a vintage gathering at his place. As someone who collects Mixtes from all over the world – this is a beauty and I am thrilled to be its caretaker.

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