Rare Oakland-Built Streamliner: 1947 Salsbury Model 85 Scooter

This is from the site Bring a Trailer (https://bringatrailer.com/) ...

This 1947 Salsbury Model 85 Scooter is only the second featured on BaT, and is claimed to be a “quite respectable” restoration if not a 100-point job. Blending a CVT transmission, easy-to-use foot pedals and distinct styling, the Model 85 (offered in Standard and DeLuxe trims) was intended to be a legitimate substitute for a car. Rare anywhere with less than 1,000 made, this particular Model 85 is said to run nicely and be a joy to ride. Find it here on Craigslist in New Rochelle, New York for $8,500. Special thanks to BaT reader Avi F. for this submission. Salsbury scooters debuted in 1936 and were originally produced out of a plumbing shop in Oakland, California. With a 1.5 HP Johnson engine and continuously variable transmission, riding was easy but progress slow. With the introduction of this Model 85 in 1946, long flowing lines and an aerodynamically inspired design joined a larger engine, the same CVT transmission and foot pedals to create an inexpensive alternative to second-car ownership. Sheet metal and paint look excellent on this example, the white lettering and Salsbury logo provide some visual pop, and we’re guessing that the seat and bumper guard have been redone. The scooter’s great lines join together nicely at the rear forming “ample” locking storage. The ad notes that “all of the electronics work as they should” which we assume means the head and taillights are functional. The speedo appears to be a newer Auto Meter piece rather than the original unit. Interestingly, the ignition switch is only used to turn the scooter off; a kick starter brings it to life. Unique for the time, Salsbury used foot pedals instead of hand controls. This was done to ease the transition between car and scooter and make riding on two wheels more familiar. While not shown in the ad, the gas pedal connects to a ~6.5 HP four-stroke air-cooled 320cc single that’s said to run nicely thanks to a recent service, new engine mounts, drive belt, cables and a cleaned carburetor. Reportedly good for ~50 MPH, a Model 8 could make a really cool pit bike or around-town errand runner.

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