The National Museum of American History (aka the Smithsonian) has a 1945 Cushman Motor Scooter as part of its permanent collection. The Pick of the Day is a year-more-recent model, a 1946 Cushman Road King advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Conroe, Texas.
“The classic 1946 Cushman Road King Scooter offers a real trip down memory lane,” the dealer says in the advertisement. “With its classic storage area behind the seat, these scooters were used both commercially and for pleasure.
“Our scooter has a fresh coat of red paint and a 10 horsepower engine. Also has a 2-speed transmission and rear drum brakes.”
Sadly, that’s all the dealer has to say about a vehicle that is a true American classic. Well, that’s all but the fact that the asking price is $3,900.
Fortunately, we can visit the Smithsonian’s website for more information about Cushman and its products:
“Founded in 1901 as a manufacturer of small internal-combustion engines for farm equipment and boats, the Cushman Motor Works added motor scooters to its product line in 1936,” the AmericanHistory.si.edu website informs.
“Filling a gap between bicycles and motorcycles, the Cushman scooter was popular among high school students, adults (as an economical “second car”) and small businesses. Passenger and cargo models were available. Farmers, salesmen, housewives, and many other people ran errands, made deliveries, and enjoyed pleasure trips.
“In particular, the Cushman scooter provided expanded personal mobility for two generations of young people. Some states required a driver’s license, and some did not require one.”
The site goes on to tell of the role Cushman military scooters played during World War II, that civilian production resumed after the war and peaked at around 15,000 scooters a year in late 1950s, with imports eroding the company’s market share in the early 1960s.
“Cushman stopped building motor scooters in 1965 and diversified into golf carts, utility carts, and other small motorized vehicles.”
The Cushman Motor Works was founded by brothers Everett and Clinton Cushman in Lincoln, Nebraska. Among the company’s post-war scooters was the Road King, which added “jet age” styling.
View previous Pick’s of the Day here.