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British Motorcycles

Autoglider Scooters

1920 Autoglider Scooter

1920s scooters were launched to much acclaim, but the public relations exercise did not translate into good sales. There was too much competition from conventional motorcycles, and they were a fashion that passed quickly.

With a heavy and quite powerful engine at the front, the Autoglider was not as easy to steer as a motorcycle.

Bear in mind that, with a low centre of gravity, the scooter was originally designed to encourage women to start riding motorcycles.

Nevertheless, the Autoglider was a very well-made machine and was considered one of the best models of the time.

SUMMARY of AUTOGLIDER: The machine appears to be sound, mostly complete, and not a difficult restoration. The engine turns. The engine should be stripped, checked and cleaned. It needs a magneto. The tyres are good (size 16 x 4).

There are no documents with it.

I hope the photos illustrate all you need in order to assess it.

The previous owner constructed the rear bodywork.

... various styles were available, including one with no rear bodywork, on which the rider stood instead of sitting. Some also had front mudguards, others did not. My intention was to remove the bodywork to make it a standing version as, one century on, I felt that would be much more of a curiosity.

THE BUYER'S GUIDE FOR 1920:

SCOOTERS

The Autoped, which made its debut during WW1, was the world's first motor scooter (see Page 29). Once the War was over, motorcycle production resumed in earnest, with many important lessons learned from wartime manufacture.


At the first postwar Olympia show in 1919 (to which this 1920 guide refers), 112 motorcycle manufacturers were represented. Many were small companies assembling from proprietary components with their own badge on the tank. By the end of the twenties there were
300 motorcycle manufacturers.

It was in this climate of invention, mechanical innovation and marketing optimism that machines such as the Autoglider made their debut. This was the first era of motor scooters.

A strange feature of this scooter is that it pivots at the front of the footboard: that seems to act as its suspension.

For further information please visit BuyVintage.com


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