Sunday, November 23, 2008

A rare historical automotive jem, discovered as most are, just hanging around unoticed, the 1933 Custer Chair Car


For the new photos I just took in Jan 09, far better photos, http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2009/01/custer-chair-update-1941-engine-powered.html


The back tires are 20 x 2", United States Rubber Company... and look as old as the car!

Advertisement from the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute via: http://www.disabilitymuseum.org/lib/stills/1122.htm



The above 3 photos are of a Custer bumper car in the collection of Only Yesterday, it may be gas or electric, I don't know... but is really similar to the car in the photos that Hemmings picked up on http://www.shorpy.com/ and ran a bio and story about other models the Custer Specialty Co made. http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2007/12/18/early-alternative-fuel-vehicle/

Levitt Custer's was inventive, and 1st awarded a patent in 1912 at the age of 24, for his Statoscope which registered the rise and fall of an aircraft. Approved and preferred over the competition by the Army and Navy it was Levitt's financial and professional stepping stone into business and creative success.

Custer had been working out of the old barn behind his home until 1916, that's when he decided to start his own company and had a four-story brick building constructed, on the second floor became an oceanarium, on the fourth floor he made the first indoor miniature golf course.

About 1925, he'd developed the Custer Park Car as an as an amusement park ride, the car was battery-operated and since it could be used on any track, it was immediately popular with amusement park operators who realized they could capitalize on the national craze for amusement parks by converting any vacant lot into a Custer Car Speedway.

Custer's next success was the Custer "C" Cycle, a small, paddlewheel-propelled watercraft, that was also a popular ride at amusement parks.
In the 1930's, Custer patented one of his greatest inventions, the Custer Car, which not meant for amusement parks. The Custer Car was a three-wheel motor vehicle with a small turning radius. Available with a gasoline motor or battery-operated, the car came with an unusual type of transmission: The driver moved the steering handle forward or backward, and the car would move in that direction.

The electric model was designed to be used by invalids as a sort of self-propelled wheelchair. It would travel 10 to 15 miles before it needed recharging and was quiet compared with its gasoline equivalent. This led to motorized sightseeing cars that were used during the 1939 World's Fair in New York.
http://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/stories/1996/11/04/editorial2.html

1 comment:

  1. MicroFan4:07 AM

    If you like discussing Custer Cars, microcars and carnival and amusement-park cars, I can recommend www.onelist.com/group/CarnivalCars and www.onelist.com/Microcars .
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete