Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Flyer -- the world's first sportscar? I doubt it!! 1916-1925

Beginning in 1916, A.O. Smith of Milwaukee manufactured a five wheel vehicle that some have dubbed "the world's first sportscar." I doubt that -- maybe the 1908 Haynes-Apperson Jack Rabbitt or 1913 Mercer.
In 1919 Briggs and stratton would take over production which would last until 1925.
It had 5 wheels on the ground, why the fifth wheel supplying the power.  A one-cylinder engine was mounted to the wheel. A shift lever up front enabled the driver to raise the motorized wheel of th ground, thus idling the small car without stopping the engine.
Before the Flyer a similar apparatus was connected to a bicycle.
In the end -- 1925 -- an electric powered version was made, and it became popular in amusement parks and known as the "red bug."

The Flyer was not a toy -- it had top speeds up to 25 mph and got 80-100 miles per gallon.

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