Petersen Museum Scooter History Display

scooter-history-petersenA pictorial look at the history of the scooter. Some weird and wonderful scooters from the last hundred years, as seen at the Petersen Museum.

The Petersen Museum in Los Angeles California currently has a display celebrating the history of the scooter. 90 scooters will be on display as the exhibition runs through to May 28, 2012.

We visited and found the display fascinating, so we took some pictures of a few of the unusual and interesting scooters from the last hundred years.

autopedPerhaps where it began. The 1915-1917 AutoPed is regarded as the first scooter. Front wheel drive, you rode it standing up, pushing the handlebars forward to engage the clutch, and backwards to disengage and apply the brake.

1917 Kenilworth Scooter. This British company went out of business in the 1920s

A 1937 Salsbury scooter, while it looks like a barstool on wheels, it was actually the first scooter to feature a constantly variable transmission setup.

Another Salsbury, this one the “85” a futuristic design for 1946.

The 1939 Moto-Kar, made by Moto-Scoot, was a single person scooter/car crossover.

Powell starting making scooters in California in the 1930’s, then switched during World War 2 to supporting the military effort. The Streamliner was a 1938 model.

This Powell is a post war model, shortly thereafter Powell stopped making scooters, and moved on to making some truly unattractive cars.

The King O’ the Road is a 13 foot long beast built by American Bruce Baldwin Mohs in 1947 when he was 14 years old. Powered by a supercharged generator motor, the giant scoot could reportedly top 100km/h. Mohs set a speed record in 1948, riding this over 800 km in 16 hours.

Guess we won’t see this kind of effort again by a 14 year old any time soon.

1950 Salsbury Tri-Carr. This American made three wheeler featured a front mounted compartment for use in its intended role as a delivery vehicle.

1958 Rumi Formichino prototype. This alloy bodied show special was powered by a twin cylinder 150cc engine.

That’s not a trailer, that’s two fold-up scooters, showing one folded, and one unfolded.

Honda Zoe. Perhaps not made by Honda, they were a 1984 enclosed scooter/trike powered by an 80cc Honda two stroke, and were apparently given away as prizes on ‘The Price is Right”. Second prizes maybe.

This one IS a Honda, the very popular Ruckus. A favorite of the scooter modifiers, this one’s been given a drag racing stance and stretch.

Scooter toys. An electric toy scooter, with a brat powered version behind.

Why should the Gold Wing guys have it all on their own? Vespa with matching trailer.

There were many more very interesting looking scooters, each has a description and a bit of history, even if you arent into scooters, it’s hard not to be entertained.

The museum also has a motorcycle section, and obviously the cars for which is mainly known for. Well worth a visit if you are in Southern California.

The Petersen Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. Admission prices are $10 for general admission adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for students with ID, and $3 for children ages 5 to 12. Children under five are admitted free. Parking is available for $2 per half hour with an $8 maximum for Museum visitors.

Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Check with the museum before plans are made, this information may be out of date or incorrect at the time you wish to visit.


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