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1960 McDonough Buckboard

This is an example of the classic buckboard style of cyclecar that has been an American tradition since the earliest days.

Designed as a kit to be built at home, such vehicles could be bought through various mail-order catalogs or 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 homebuilts, and the wide open spaces with minimal 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 from the A.O. Smith Co., builders of the Smith Flyer - another buckboard.
The Motor Wheel was a self-contained powered fifth wheel that was attached to a vehicle, either a bicycle or four-wheeler. It was raised and lowered into contact with the road. Hundreds of examples were sold, at a price of $200 each.

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 as beachfront transport in fashionable resorts such as Deauville and LeTouquet.

This particular vehicle was sold through Sears, J.C. Whitney, and other mail-order catalogs as a kit.

Manufacturer: McDonough Power Equipment, U.S.A

Model: Buckboard Motor: Briggs + Stratton, 4-stroke Body: None
Years Built: 1960 No. Cylinders: 1 Chassis: Wood
No. Produced: N/A Displacement: Suspension Front: None
No. Surviving: N/A Horsepower: 3 Suspension Rear: None
Length: 91" Gearbox: None Steering: Cable
Width: 37" Starter: Rope Brakes: 2 wheel paddle
Weight: 75 lbs Electrics: None 4 Wheels: 2.125 x 16
Interior: Bench Ignition: Magneto Top Speed: 20 mph

© 2002