The Cushman company started in 1903 in Lincoln Nebraska. For the first three decades, Cushman produced engines for farm equipment, water pumps and boats. One of their most famous engines was the Husky, which they introduced in the early 1920s. Cushman entered the scooter business in 1936 when they introduced the Auto-Glide scooter. The…
The Cushman company started in 1903 in Lincoln Nebraska. For the first three decades, Cushman produced engines for farm equipment, water pumps and boats. One of their most famous engines was the Husky, which they introduced in the early 1920s. Cushman entered the scooter business in 1936 when they introduced the Auto-Glide scooter. The scooter became very successful during the Great Depression as it offered people a reliable and inexpensive means of transportation. The company continued to grow during World War II when they began supplying scooters to the United States Military.
Cushman scooters were built in a variety of models. The Eagle was the most traditional looking and resembled a small motorcycle. The Highlander was a less traditional design and offered a “step through” style framework. The step-through design, with its ease of operation, was popular with men and women alike.
By the late 1950s Cushmans had jet age body styling. Models such as the Road King and Pacemaker had a futuristic look about them. Not only did they look extremely modern, but they were easy to operate as well. This Cushman scooter features a foot clutch matched up to a two speed transmission, which allowed the rider to twist the right grip to accelerate. Cushman claimed 75 to 100 miles per gallon of gasoline, and advertised penny-a-mile operating cost. The Road King had an advertised top speed of 50 miles per hour.
This 1959 Road King is an excellent example of one of the most iconic scooters built by Cushman. It features the famous step-through design that places the engine towards the rear of the frame. It allows the rider to literally step into the seat instead of having to climb on top of it.
This example appears to be an extremely original and well-preserved scooter that was professionally restored a few years back. Since being restored, it has been used very little and has been on display in a private collection for the last several years.
The paint is in excellent overall condition. The two-toned light blue and white shows extremely well. There is no evidence of bodywork underneath the paint. All of the sheet metal body components including the rear engine cover and front- skirted fender appear to be original and in excellent condition with smooth surfaces throughout. The framework shows no evidence of damage or repair. The white vinyl seat was recovered during the restoration and still looks like new. The chrome accessories are extremely clean and bright.
Underneath the rear of the body, the engine compartment is extremely clean and nicely detailed. The original, Husky four-cycle, 9 horsepower, one-cylinder engine is complete with its original carburetor and ignition system. The engine starts easily and runs well. This scooter appears to be in very good mechanical condition.
This example is well equipped with a front mounted headlight, a rear mounted taillight, a luggage rack (Newspaper Rack), a chromed backrest for the seat and whitewall balloon tires. The VIN number is 878955 and it is being sold with a clear and current title.
Cushman scooters were built to be driven and enjoyed. Because of this, very few have survived. Their jet-age appearance has made them an icon of mid-century design. A 1959 advertisement for the Road King boldly states that this scooter is “Just as much fun as it looks.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
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