Bouffort was an aeronautics engineer who took it upon himself to design and
build some pretty odd vehicles in the years after WWII.
His only real
success at a vehicle was the Valmobile, a scooter that folded into a suitcase
sized package. Around 100,000 were actually built.
Produced in Japan
and sold worldwide, the 75lb machine was kind of an adaptation of folding bikes
previously only made for military use. Bouffort thought an easily stored
scooter would be embraced by city-dwellers and he was right. Although a lot people bought them for the novelty.
No front suspension and a tiny
motor and wheels meant they were a little scary to ride. But, you could get a
the big Aprilia to work during the week because it was dry and I was
bored. Never having ridden it in the dark since I bought it last summer I found the reflections
on the screen rather distracting on the way home.