Louis Bac was an aircraft engineer at Peugeot who had an interesting side project in 1925 – he built approximately 50 examples of a pacing machine to be used at bicycle tracks. The second generation was released in 1932 – it was called the Meier and just 30 of those were built.
Imagine being a bicycle racer and having to suck in these fumes:
It’s a fascinating example of vintage machinery. The 2,400cc V-Twin produces approximately 30 horsepower at 1,500 rpm, and incredibly there’s no clutch or gears. The motor is flexible enough that it will idle at walking speed and can smoothly accelerate past 60 miles per hour while directly driving the rear wheel with a belt. The rear “sprocket” (really a pulley) size can be adjusted depending on the track.
According to the seller, this pacer design was used until only recently as “it was very difficult to find modern machines that could match their enormous flexibility.” Nowadays, electric motorcycles make a lot more sense in this situation.
This example (frame #125, engine #17) has quite a history, having spent some time “on the cycle track of the former Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam” and was ridden by a Dutch man named Noppie Koch who became a pacer after a career that included Dutch bicycling championships in 1959, 1962, and 1963. The sale includes some of Noppie’s effects, such as his helmet and jacket.
Find this Meie-BAC for sale in Nederweert, Netherlands for $16,500 here at Yesterday’s Motorcycles.