Minerva 1903 2508



Minerva 1903/1904    2 HP  254 cc  side valve single frame # 16777  engine # 6126

Mr Sylvain de Jong, born in Amsterdam on 5 January 1868, moved to Brussels  with his parents and two brothers to Brussels  when he was thirteen years old. 

After working for some years as a journalist, he went to the U.K. to study the safety bicycle production. In 1895, S. de Jong, his brothers and other investors started a factory in Antwerp, to produce and repair bicycles.

For these bicycles, they selected the name "Mercury".

Only two years later, after a dispute with the other investors, S. de Jong created on 15 October 1897; "S. de Jong & Cie".

This time he selected the name "Minerva" for the new plant in Antwerp.

Minerva the Roman goddess, daughter of Jupiter, sprang from the head of her father, fully grown and in full armour. 

She was the patron of warriors, goddess of knowledge and wisdom and goddess of artisans and industry. 

Sylvain de Jong anticipated on a slackening bicycle market and announced in February 1899, the production of light cars (voiturettes) and motorcycles.

In 1900, S. de Jong & Co. bought an engine from the Neuchâtel – Swiss based Zürcher & Lüthi. Zürcher & Lüthi did not only build the engines, they also patented the bicycle set-up.

The engines were "clamped to the framing" (clip-on). S. de Jong & Co. bought the licence and started the production of all parts needed to turn a Minerva bicyclette into a Minerva motocyclette.

Due to the reliability of the clip-on engine, success was immediate.
1904 was the first year that the engine was positioned in the “New Werner Position”,  although a 2 HP  clip-on model was still catalogued in 1906. 

The 2 HP engine has bore x stroke of 68×70 mm.

This machine has been restored a number of  years ago and is a good runner.