1954 Sarolea 500 Atlantic
In the immediate postwar period, the
English, followed by the Germans were kings of the European market. Belgium's
leading marquee, Sarolea, tried to attack the British on their home ground with
its first all new postwar models, launched in 1950 : the Oiseau Bleu
("Bluebird") 125cc two stroke and the Atlantic, a 500 twin (which would not
start to reach the customers until the following year).
Like Triumph, Norton and other British twins the Atlantic was a
parallel twin with a separate gearbox. Sarolea made a big mistake by following
this already outdated layout whose secrets were already known to the English.
Certainly the Atlantic never enjoyed the success of its British rivals, despite
its lavish level of equipment. Though it was relatively heavy and overpriced
when it was launched, the Atlantic quickly came into line with the competition
. the 1954 version was priced between the Triumph T100 and the BMW
The End of the Line
The Atlantic, which was built in 500cc and
(as the Atlantic Major) 600cc forms, remained in production until 1960.
Meantime Sarolea tried to break into the scooter market by building the Italian
Rumi twin under the name "Djinn". From 1960, Sarolea, in conjunction with
Gillet, went exclusively over to cyclemotors before ceasing production
altogether in 1967.