First Automatic Scooter: Restored 1949 Salsbury Model 85

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This 1949 Salsbury Model 85 scooter is a rare example of a model first conceived during the Great Depression. Utilizing a patented CVT transmission, gas and brake pedals, and fantastic Art Deco styling, the Model 85 was introduced as an inexpensive alternative to car ownership and is often cited as the first automatic-equipped scooter. This one has been both cosmetically and mechanically restored, with work including an electric start conversion–the original kick and rope start options were retained as well. Find it here on eBay in Anamosa, Iowa with reserve not met.

Other Makes Model 85 | eBay

The styling is just fantastic, with long, low, sweeping lines and beautiful detailing everywhere. Red and black works really nicely here, offset with just enough gold lettering. All chrome and trim pieces look to have been refreshed as well–check out the lines on that front fender guard. The black leather seat appears to have been reupholstered, and is neatly integrated into the rear bodywork.

Other Makes Model 85 | eBay

Good for about 6.5 HP, the four-stroke, 250cc single is mated to a sophisticated (for the time) CVT, and much like a car for which it was meant to replace, controls are by foot pedals.

Other Makes Model 85 | eBay

We’d like to imagine it as the most elegant pit bike at the Monterey Historics, but it would also likely be just as welcome on the concours lawn.

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