June 27, 2010

Auto Red Bug

Red Bugs are small, two passenger, wooden buckboard cyclecars that were produced from 1914 to about 1930. Early Red Bugs where powered by a fifth wheel with an integral motor. The Smith Motor Wheel and the Smith Flyer were first manufactured by the A.O. Smith Co. of Milwaukee in 1914. Five years later, Briggs and Stratton bought the manufacturing rights and produced the little woodie for several years.

(Roland Bugatti)

The rights were sold to Majestic Engineering & Manufacturing Co., later known as Automotive Electric Service Company of North Bergen, New Jersey in 1924. Now called Red Bug or Auto Red Bug, production of the car continued. For a while, the Red Bug was powered by either the Motor Wheel or a Dodge 12 volt electric starter motor. The Motor Wheel was ultimately replaced with a five horsepower Cushman engine with chain drive to the rear wheels. The company was renamed Automotive Standards and in 1928, and an amusement park version featuring a wrap-around bumper was announced.

Specifications --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wheelbase - 62 inches
Track - 30 inches
Weight - 150-240 Pounds, varies with motor and batteries
Chassis - Ash wood
Top Speed - 12-25 MPH, Gasoline; 8-16 MPH, Electric
Wheels - 20 x 2" clincher (early non-drive wheels 20 x 1-5/8")
Price - About $150 in the late 1910's, $300 in 1928 It uses a 12 volt motor made by North East which is the same as starter-generator on the old Dodge Brothers cars. It drives the right rear wheel and the foot brake is on the left rear wheel. There are 6 slats of wood which is the frame and suspension.

provided by: Manuel Barje, Alabama, USA

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