Peugeot - P 53 CS
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Peugeot D2-492-52-16
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 100
Model : P 53 CS
Production : 1939 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


100cc 53 CS ·1939

A sport motorcycle in miniature

During the 1930s, the "real" French motorcycle - with a displacement of 175- 500cc and over - had come to grief. Only the advent of the autocycle, limited by law to under 100cc - offered a lifeline to the struggling industry. Even giants like Peugeot had to follow the trend and consequently produced a well-integrated range of these economical featherweights.

Wide Range

In 1939, the sole year of production of the 53 CS "Special Grand Luxe" autocycle, Peugeot offered the Series 51, with direct-drive or two speed transmission, the Series 52, with two speeds and a "motorcycle-type frame," as well as the Series 53, with a unit-construction three-speed powertrain. There were also open-frame models "for ladies and priests."

Heavily Chromed

In addition to the CS, the Series 53 included the CN, CL and CHL models. These were really motorcycles in miniature, rather than autocycles. The 53 CS, in particular, looked like a scaled-down version of the "very powerful" 500cc Type 515 and was easily distinguishable by twin high-level tailpipes, a rear grab-handle instead of a luggage grid, a cranked selector pedal, and a stylized chrome tank motif in the shape of the Peugeot lion. As for the transmission, the primary chain ran in an oil-bath, a multi-plate clutch was mounted on the end of the crankshaft and the three-speed gears were constantly in mesh. The liberally-chromed 53 CS won first prize in Moto Revue magazine's "Autocycle Day" in April1939.


Engine: 9&c (46x60mm) air-cooled singlecylinder; flywheel magneto

Valves: two-stroke

Fuel System: carburetor

TransmJssion: 3-speed, foot-shift; chain final drive

Suspension: girder forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 600x65mm or 24x2.4 inch (front & rear)

Weight: 77 lb

Enameled kingfisher blue, red or black, the abundantly-chromed Peugeot 53 CS, with its highlevel exhausts, looked like a real sports bike- but it was only a 98cc autocycle.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

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François-Marie Dumas

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