Founded by Jakob Oswald Hoffmann with the production of two JLO-powered (The initials JLO in German the J is a capital I, so it’s correctly pronouced ILO )125cc motorcycles at a plant in Bezirk,Dusseldorf and given a boost by acquiring the rights to build Vespa scooters under licence in mid 1949. Production moved to a new factory at Lintorf in 1950 and the next year took over half of the German market for 125cc scooters.1951 also saw the introduction of a 175cc motorcycle with a JLO engine and the 250cc horizontally-opposed twin called the GOUVERNEUR.This use Hoffmann’s own power unit designed by Richard Kuchen and its only real failing was the high production cost.For the next two years the company built up its export markets and then in 1953 launched a host of new machines powered by JLO two strokes of 200cc and 250cc capacity
There was also a new 250 and 300 using a development of the flat twin.These were intended to take over from the Vespa models,for the licence agreement would end in 1954 and Hoffmann lacked the cash to renegotiate. Unfortunately,sales never met the hoped-for level and Hoffmann became the first casualty of the post-war industrial recession.
The sales of the Gouverneur were slow in the fact that it was the most expensive 250 on the German market 2450 Deutchmarks for the S300 ,! another 50 would have bought you a BMW R50 also there were heating problems due to the long induction track and the carb being enclosed behind a alloy cover.The Dusseldorf police used them for about a year(painted white like the one in Sammy Millers Museum) but stopped using them because of over heating troubles.