Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stooges Scootabout

The Three Stooges on the 1941 American-made, Scootabout. Surprised Moe let Curly be in the driver's seat. The engine was manufactured by Lawson and had 2.3 h.p. air cooled by blower, and a flywheel magneto ignition.

Crocker Motorcycles was known for their custom built racing motorcycles, but also made and sold small scooters. With collaboration from the renowned Floyd Clymer of Clymer Motors, Albert Crocker came up with the "Scootabout" around 1939. The "Scootabout" was considered a forerunner at the time it was released. Scooters of the time were very plain, no nonsense fun machines, Crocker gave them style with a streamlined design including two-toned paint jobs and skirted fenders even before Indian made that look famous. Crocker furthered scooter design by adding a crude suspension to the front end in 1941. The machine differed in many respects from conventional type scooters in that it had knee action spring frame and large balloon tires for easy riding, co-pilot steering and a low center of engine location which gave a new easy balance.

Simplicity of operation was obtained thru the use of an automatic clutch which engaged as the foot throttle was depressed. Removing the foot from the throttle quickly, disengaged the clutch. The operation is said to be somewhat similar to fluid drive such as used on some makes of 1941 cars. A foot lever operated an internal expanding brake band on which was mounted Ferodo lining. Choke and compression release are combined in one lever on the right handlebar. Standard color was black with red panels.A Tow-Back attachment was available for use in attaching the unit to car bumpers.

The "Scootabout" sold for $139.00 in 1941. Unfortunately with the war underway the supply of the Lawson air cooled engines dried up and the project was abandoned. It is thought that less than 100 of these little scooters were ever produced. Floyd Clymer put out a "Crocker Scootabout" sales brochure, sales poster, and a "Crocker Scootabout Bulletin" in Oct.-Nov. 1940 ready to sell dealerships across the U.S.A.. Around the same time he also retagged the Crocker V-Twin brochure (From 1939) with his company name, "Clymer Motors" (1941) and appeared to be ready to take over sales of that venerable classic, too bad World War II intervened.

A telegraph cable delivery man uses the Scootabout in the 1942 film, Talk of the Town.

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