The brand ARDEX was born at the end of the 30s, when Marcel Tamine decided to produce cyclecars of its manufacture in Nanterre, France. The first 3-wheel cyclecar was presented in 1934 in a form of Morgan three-wheeler.
It had the aluminum body and was powered by a 2-stroke 350cc engine coupled to a 2 speed gearbox. This allowed reaching a top speed of 37 mph (60 km/h). A version with a 500 cc V2 was also available with a top speed of 46 mph (75 km/h). The 3-wheeler was offered with 3 types of bodies: sport, tourist and commercial.
A very low selling price should have ensured the commercial success of the cyclecar. But the war forced Ardex to direct its manufacture to another type of motorization.
The updated 1949 model
After the WWII Ardex presented the updated model. The new engine Aubier et Dunno had a volume of 125 cc and was coupled to a 3 speed gearbox. It responds to the most modern technology: aluminum cylinder lined in treated steel, piston and hemispherical cylinder head. It has an output of 4 hp at 4500 rpm.
The engine was mounted at the rear of the body and powered the single rear wheel. The gear ratios have been made to give a top speed of 30 mph (50 km/h). Fuel consumption was 3 liters of petrol per 100 km. A very large tank of 12 liters ensures 250 miles (400 km) of driving without refueling. The driving was like a regular car by the three conventional pedals: clutch, brake, accelerator. Any motorist could drive it immediately without special training.
The body was entirely made of polished aluminum. V-shaped windshield had 2 parts. Inside there was a place for two passengers. The body also had a deep luggage rack at the front. Both seats were the subject of a special study. They were made of rubber strips and covered with waterproof canvas. Their comfort is remarkable.
The machine was intended to transport 2 persons and 40 kgs of luggage, ie approximately 180 kgs of payload. Its empty weight was 115 kgs. The wheels are equipped with 450×60 or 500×60 tires in the front and 550×85 in the rear. The total width at the Ardex Cyclecar was 1320 mm, while the length was 2850 mm.