Lot Number

1924 Red Bug Buckboard Motorette

Sold For $24,200

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Auctions - HERSHEY 10 - 11 OCTOBER 2019 - The Merrick Auto Museum Collection

Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Electric version of the Briggs Flyer
  • Early neighborhood electric vehicle
  • AACA National First award winner

In 1924 Briggs & Stratton Corporation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sold the rights to the successful Red Bug Buckboard they had been building—and which they had acquired from A.O. Smith Corporation. The buyer was the Automotive Electric Service Corporation of North Bergen, New Jersey. Production of the Red Bug, sometimes called the Auto Red Bug, continued, using the Briggs Motor Wheel. Automotive Electric Service started to build some Red Bugs with electric motors, notably the 12-volt motors used as starters on 1920s Dodges.

Red Bugs were sold through the upmarket sporting and apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch in New York City, as well as high-end toy store F.A.O. Schwartz. Red Bugs continued in production until the late 1920s. During that period a fleet of Red Bugs went into rental service on Jekyll Island, an exclusive resort off the coast of Georgia where there were no gasoline-powered cars.

In this electric version of the Briggs-turned-Red Bug buckboard, the motor wheel is replaced by a small 12-volt electric motor, and a battery box is fitted to the rear of the chassis. This vehicle has been fully and accurately restored. It received an AACA National First award in 1982, later upgraded to Senior, and Grand National in 1983. An excellent example of the electric Red Bug period, it will be an asset to any collection.

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