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Scooter Guy

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  1. It’s real and it’s an official Harley-Davidson item. You could order it through Harley-Davidson. See the attached photo from a 1947 catalog. These are quite rare. They were very expensive and it seems not many were sold and of those, fewer survived all of these years. Search the Antique Motorcycle Club of America’s Facebook page for “generator tester.” There was one of these shown and discussed earlier this month and documentation was posted, including the photo I’ve attached here.
  2. That would have originally been a Model A, sold at Gambles as a “Hiawatha” scooter. The West Bend engine is not original or correct, but it is not uncommon to find Doodle Bugs with non-original engines. Original would have been a Briggs and Stratton NP with kick starter with the fluid drive clutch. The brake pedal on the floor board is also not original. This was often done on Shriner scooters and on scooters that were modified over the years to keep them on the road when the originals wore out or broke. Post a photo of what you’ve got, if you can. I’d like to take a look.
  3. Sorry...nope, it’s not the Doodle Bug scooter taillight. The one in your photo is for a Whizzer. The two prongs on the back are like that to fit a bicycle fender and the piece that extends from the bottom (with the screw in it) bolts to the bottom center of a bicycle fender. The taillight and license plate bracket unit for a Doodle Bug is not a Bendix, by the way. Bendix only had a generator and headlight for the Doodle Bug scooter which was just an automotive fog lamp fitted with a handlebar clamp. The taillight used with the Bendix kit was usually a Nu-Ray Jr. The Doodle Bug version of the taillight you have is actually a Do-Ray taillight. It could be used with the Bendix generator and headlight, but there was a Do-Ray headlight available also to match (plus a Make-a-Lite set that used a battery). Yours is similar (I have one also) but not the same as the Do-Ray unit for a Doodle Bug.
  4. Hi Shelley, That is, in fact, a Doodle Bug scooter but it has undergone many changes over the years with lots of bits and pieces being stripped or broken off. It is actually fairly common to see them in this kind of condition. The sheet metal pieces (front fender, rear fender, side panels) are almost always gone as are the original gas tank and mounting brackets. In addition, your particular scooter also has had the motor plate and the floor board modified and your engine was replaced with a much newer model. There are other non-original parts on this such as the grips, hand controls and tires - but again, that's quite common. Most of what you have is simply representative of how the scooters were modified over the years to keep them on the road long after the original components were worn out or broken. It can all be fixed. One word of warning, however, before you go too deep into this. The front end of your scooter is probably bent. It does not appear that you would have adequate clearance between the front fender and the (missing) correct floor board if you were to restore this. This is a very common problem with these scooters as they were typically ridden by young people that crashed them, raced them, and generally just beat them up and literally "loved them to death." This, too, can be fixed, if you really want to take a deep dive into this. Please don't take this as a criticism of what you have. What you have on your hands is typical of a small 70+ year old scooter. It's cool that you've got it and are doing something with it!
  5. Most insurance companies (even Geico, Allstate, State Farm, Progressive, etc., etc.) will sell you insurance for whatever vehicle you want, so long as you are willing to pay their price for it. There are always exceptions, but I have never not been offered a quote from an insurance company when interested in buying insurance. But...not all policies are created equal and you need to know what you're buying. Your choice of specific policy has a direct correlation to what happens when you have a claim. That is, in my opinion, more important than what company's name you're buying from. Also, one thing to watch out for: "stated value" (some companies call this "declared value") is not the same as "agreed value" to most insurance companies. I know some people that have gone through a lot of heartache because they didn't know the difference when they filed a claim. Stated value is where your policy starts, at a value you state to the insurance company. But stated value policies factor in depreciation and when you file a claim you can end up with the stated value amount or actual cash value (ACV being what it is worth at the time of the claim) - but that amount will be whichever is less, as determined by the insurance company. Agreed value is what most collectors want and what is often confused for stated value insurance. With agreed value, you and the insurance company agreed on a guaranteed value for the vehicle and that amount will be paid by the insurance company in the event of a total loss. At the end of the day, make sure you understand what type of policy you are buying so you know what happens when there is a claim.
  6. Interesting topic. My wife has spent her career in the museum business as a curator at a well-known museum. It is very common for people to misunderstand loans to museums vs. donations to museums. A lot of people think of a museum as being the "forever" home of whatever they are donating...to be maintained and displayed literally forever and then get upset when they learn that is not the case. A good museum will make sure the donor understands that up front: When an object is donated, be it a car or a fountain pen, it's donated - as in you gave it away and relinquished ownership. I'm sure someone can cite an exception, but generally speaking a museum will not accept a donation that comes in with a bunch of strings attached or donor stipulations. If you still want control over "your" object, it's best not to donate it at all and museums often have to tell potential donors that. Loans for a specified display period work better for those people that want to retain control of their objects and where they end up. Don't confuse a museum for a caretaker in perpetuity, either. That's not something that they can promise, and if they do, donors should be wary. Objects do get sold and traded off on occasion. Museums do go out of business or hit financial hard times that require liquidating assets which can mean selling what you've donated. They are not vaults with unlimited resources to care for your donated things forever.
  7. Looking good! What's the story on this scooter? Do you know much history on it? Where did you find it? What condition was it in when it came to you? Was that engine with it when you got it? (almost certainly original, if so)
  8. Email the new owner of Fox Grips, Mike, at foxgrips@yahoo.com He has posted his name and email publicly here, so I'm not sharing private contact information: http://www.simplexservi-cycle.com/index.php?topic=1459.0 He has the mold for the Doodle Bug grips you need and can make them in white, as per original. It does not seem that a website ever materialized. Most of the business seems to be running through eBay.
  9. Jonny D - You have your gas tank mounted correctly. It is supposed to sit high, up at the back of the seat like that. There are factory photos and manuals that show this. It does still "work" if the tank is mounted lower, with the brackets being upside down and I see a lot of scooters like that, but it is supposed to be mounted high and the tank tucked in close. The stripe of the side covers is just over 1/8" wide, but not quite 3/16". Nobody will probably ever take a ruler to your side cover to check, but if you really want it accurate, that's the measurement to go for. Your question about the decals is really a great question. I have studied this for years trying to determine what was originally done and what is correct. The only conclusion I have from all of that is that they were very inconsistent and there were constant changes, thus many variations in what decals were applied and where. There are original scooters and factory photos and publications showing almost every configuration possible. It seems that many, but not all, Doodle Bugs had the Doodle Bug logo on only the left hand side. The only consistent thing about the Doodle Bug logo is that the "bug" always faced forward, towards the front of the scooter. On the right hand side was usually, but not always, where the Hiawatha or Western Flyer decal went (was not usually on the left, but not always!). Some Clinton powered scooters came with black tanks, some came with red tanks (mounting brackets were always red, even with a black tank). Some Clinton tanks had decals on the ends, some didn't (this was also true of Briggs tanks). Basically unless you know what the original paint looked like, you can restore yours in virtually any decal configuration and it won't ever be "wrong." Speaking of side covers, you should have small holes on each side for the choke rod. Both side panels should have this. The choke rod for Clinton powered scooters comes out of the left side of the scooter and is a a wire with loop on the end, almost like a coat hanger. The choke rod for a Briggs powered scooter comes out the right side and has a small knob at the end of it (the choke rod on real61ss' scooter is actually a Briggs rod). Most of the side panels also had hole on the right side for the switch to be mounted when using an accessory lighting kit. There was often (but not always!) an aluminum plug used to fill that hole that could be removed if installing a lighting kit. The hole ends up smack in the middle of the Doodle Bug logo!
  10. I think you need to decide what business you want to be in... 1. Real estate developer (which means building the facility then actually selling the garages/condos) 2. Landlord (you own it and collect rent for the spaces) 3. Shop owner (restoration, repair, car wash, whatever...) 4. Museum operator 5. Race track operator 6. Restaurant operator 7. Events center operator My opinion is that a lot of these concepts fail because there is no focus and the facility is trying to do all of those things at the same time with limited knowledge of most of the various lines of business. It can be done, but the phrase "Jack of all trades, master of none" comes to mind. Personally I see the model used at M1 Concourse to be the best approach - SELL the garage units to individuals thus transferring risk to them (insurance, liability, security, etc.) and then offer shared spaces like the track, skid pad, picnic area for RENT but with blackout periods for garage owner use exclusively. That seems like a much more manageable, and likely sustainable, approach to such a facility.
  11. There is a facility just south of Fort Worth, Texas called the Motorsports Ranch. It seems to be nearly exactly the sort of thing you're talking about. They have a private road course (two actually), a skid pad, clubhouse, garages (13 buildings worth), and private on-site support businesses of different sorts. There are (apparently separate, third-party?) some stand-alone track side houses available there also. Their website has a lot of information on what they have to offer and what their fee structure is. They don't have a museum, but they seem to check just about every other box that you mentioned. It took A LOT of time and money to get this facility to where it is today. A LOT. It did not happen overnight, rather it took years to develop the facility. If you are serious about pursuing a similar concept, my suggestion is to go visit this facility and try to get them to answer as many questions as you can think of. I don't intend to discourage you but think part of your market research should be to see what your competition has to offer and how they run their operations. They seem to be more "track centric" and with more of a motor sports focus, so less about the garages themselves, but that might be an important take-away for you to consider.I am not a member there but have seen their facility.
  12. Jim, That Crosley powered scooter is wild. I've had folks send me photos of it before, but it didn't yet have the side car. I had always been told that it wasn't rideable because there was no "transmission" to get the power from the engine to the rear wheels, but clearly that's not the case and the owner figured something out. I'd love to examine it up close to see exactly how he did it. Doesn't offend me at all, by the way. I can certainly appreciate the time, effort, and craftsmanship that goes into a custom or hot rod. My personal tastes tend to be more "purist", but more so than that I'm just a "scooter guy" and like 'em all!
  13. Jon- As far as I can tell from closely examining the scooters and original parts that I have, the white stripe along the edges of the side skirts was painted on with striping wheel. It does not appear to be tape, but it's very hard to tell on my original scooters. If it was tape it is extremely thin tape and was applied very, very precisely (all things considered). But it sure looks like it was painted on to me. The front fender, on the other hand, appears to have been done with water slide decals. I do know that the "Hiawatha" or "Western Flyer" decals along with the Doodle Bug logo were originally water slide decals. On the Doodle Bugs that I have restored, I have painted on the white side skirt stripe and use a reproduction decal set to do the front fender. Note that on the fender there are two stylized stripes on each side and one that it at the top center of the fender. Some folks miss that 5th stripe that is there. I use reproduction decals from Jim Lovelace or Engine-Decals.com. He sells a lot of eBay, but has reproductions available of all of the Doodle Bug decals, not all of which are always listed on eBay. Some of what is available from him is because he originally made up a few sets for my restorations. They are not water slide, but no matter...I'm REALLY picky - his decals are nice. That's a nice Model B (Clinton powered scooter) you have. Can't wait to see what it looks like as you get it finished up. It looks good so far!
  14. There have been more than 50,000 views of this thread since originally posted in 2009. Impressive, I'd say. I believe many people have been able to identify, save, or restore their scooters using information posted here to get themselves started. Nothing has been added to this post in just over three years, so it seemed to be time to check in on any new developments. I remain happy to discuss Doodle Bugs and share the information that I have. I'm still buying stuff, too, if you're just wanting to sell your Doodle Bug stuff.
  15. Ariel, There is an Auranthetic Charger coming up for auction at the 2019 Mecum Motorcycle auction in Las Vegas in January. Looking through the catalog, it looks nice.
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