Manufacturer: McDonough Power Equipment
Origin: McDonough, Georgia, U.S.A.
Motor: B&S 1-cyl, 4-stroke
Power: 3 hp
Length: 8 ft. 5 in.
Identification No. 099534
This is an example of the classic buckboard style of vehicle that has been an American tradition since the days of the horse-drawn conveyance. Designed as a kit to be assembled at home, such vehicles could be ordered through various mail-order catalogues or through small ads in do-it-yourself magazines, such as Popular Mechanics or Popular Science.
Young boys growing up on farms in the Midwest were a strong market for these homebuilt examples, and the wide open spaces with little or no road traffic particularly suited these vehicles. The most well-known make was the Briggs & Stratton Flyer. In 1918, B&S bought the rights to the Motor Wheel (a detachable powered fifth wheel) from the A.O. Smith Co., builders of the Smith Flyer, another buckboard.
In 1924, B&S sold the rights to the Automotive Electric Service Co., who continued to market the vehicle as the Auto Red Bug. They were available in the five-wheel gasoline version as well as a four-wheel electric version powered by a Dodge starter motor. They continued to be popular and were even exported to Europe, where they were used in fashionable resorts as beachfront transport. This particular car was sold as a kit through Sears, J.C. Whitney, and other mail-order catalogues, and it is in very good, proper, overall order.