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| November/December 1996

  • Briggs and Stratton Motor Scooter
    (A): Briggs and Stratton Model B motor scooter.
  • Mini Scooter
    (B): Mini scooter project by Rob Maulsby.

  • Briggs and Stratton Motor Scooter
  • Mini Scooter

416 Green Acres Drive Huntsville, Alabama 35805

There are two projects I have had, which may be of interest to you.

Project (A): In 1946 I needed transportation, and not having money for a new or used car, I bought some scrap steel tubing, three wheelbarrow wheels, a gear box from an old Crosley automobile and a new Model B Briggs and Stratton engine. By 1948 I had built a nice little metal yard chair on wheels. I licensed it as a motor scooter. It would seat two people side by side, run forty miles per hour on a level stretch of highway, and give me sixty miles per gallon of low octane gasoline. This scooter was built at my parents' home in Opelika, Alabama. When finished, I had acquired a job in Atlanta, Georgia, which was one hundred twenty miles away. One clear morning I gave the rope starter a pull and five hours later, I gave out on the second gallon of gasoline within sight of my new apartment in Atlanta. What a trip! I had the feeling of accomplishment that Charles Lindbergh must have had on arrival in France. Well, I used this vehicle for transportation in Atlanta until traffic became so heavy that I felt unsafe. I scrapped the scooter, but kept the power package: a frame with engine, gear box and rear wheel. I still like to take the engine out and hear it run. I must have done something right on that project, for the girl that I was dating for scooter picnic trips married me.

Project (B): My next scooter project was something to do in retirement. In 1994 I bought a frame, with no engine, of a mini-scooter. The wheels were completely rusted off their hubs. An old Tecumseh engine model H 35-452600, serial number 948 02265, and new wheels were obtained at the Portland Show the following summer. Luck would have it, this engine had three power leads coming out of the magneto. When the flywheel was removed I found it had magnets all the way around it and the magneto had three coils. The large coil held the spark plug lead. The other two coils fed the remaining two leads which I hooked to the head light and tail light respectively. With the lights and engine grounded to the frame, my scooter had light each time the engine was accelerated. This must have been the right engine for my mini-scooter. Question: Did all the Tecumseh model H-35s have that flywheel and three coils on the magneto, or was this engine built with the special purpose to provide both torque and electrical output?

If any of you scooter builders care to share your experiences with me, I'd be happy to correspond.


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