1969 Cushman Silver Eagle Scooter Engine no. 193873

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Lot 801
1969 Cushman Silver Eagle Scooter
Engine no. 193873

US$ 6,000 - 8,000
£ 4,800 - 6,400
1969 Cushman Silver Eagle Scooter
Engine no. 193873
Inspired by the success of E Foster Salsbury’s Motor Glide scooter, Cushman Motor Works launched its own Auto-Glide version in 1936. Founded in the early 1900s by cousins Clinton and Everett Cushman, the Lincoln, Nebraska firm had long been established as engine manufacturers, its products powering boats, farm machinery and lawnmowers among countless varied applications. Cushman’s scooter came about quite by chance following aviator Colonel Roscoe Turner’s demonstration of a Motor Glide at an air show in Lincoln in 1936. A local boy liked what he saw and fashioned his own crude scooter using a Cushman Husky lawnmower engine as power unit. By this time Cushman had been taken over by The Easy Manufacturing Company, whose owners, the Ammon family, got wind of the enterprising youngster’s one-off and decided to have a go themselves. The result was the Auto-Glide and the start of an American legend.

The Cushman scooter would evolve through countless incarnations over the years, one of the most significant developments being the launch of a new, larger line in 1949. This was the ‘Eagle’, which abandoned the scooter’s traditional, open-framed, ‘step-through’ layout, placing the gas tank in the conventional, motorcycle position. It was a brave move: nobody knew what the public’s reaction would be to a scooter that looked like a miniature Harley-Davidson, but the Eagle would prove an outstanding success, selling more units than any other Cushman model.

From dominating the North American scooter marketplace in the early 1950s, Cushman saw its position steadily decline in the face of foreign competition, and in 1961 the company became the official Vespa distributor in the USA. The arrival of Japanese manufacturers in force would drive the final nail into Cushman’s coffin, and ‘The Big Name in Little Wheels’ ceased production early in 1965.

Dating from the final year of production, this rare and collectible Cushman Silver Eagle, with optional windscreen, passenger seat, twin mirrors, and electric start, has recently undergone a full cosmetic restoration, including striping and repainting the sheet metal, base coat clear coat and reupholstering the seats. In addition, a mechanical service was performed including the fuel system, carburetor rebuild, electrical, etc.
1969 Cushman Silver Eagle Scooter Engine no. 193873
1969 Cushman Silver Eagle Scooter Engine no. 193873
1969 Cushman Silver Eagle Scooter Engine no. 193873
1969 Cushman Silver Eagle Scooter Engine no. 193873
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