Rhinebeck National Meet: 1947 Vintage Motorette

Rhinebeck National Meet: 1947 Vintage Motorette

This scrappy little Motorette sat amongst old pickup truck parts, boxes of cans and other assorted vintage wares at the 2010 Rhinebeck National Meet. It immediately caught my eye with it’s cute bugish-ness.

It looks like the type of vehicle that would a) be ridden at a carnival by a tipsy, belligerent clown b) have it’s own traveling music and c) just might puff heart-shaped smoke rings out of it’s exhaust. That’s pretty much a recipe for me to like something.

1947 Motorette Rhinebeck National Meet

Knowing exactly zero about the little 3-wheeler, I went searching around the web looking for information. That was when my mind decided to play a little game of word association.

Motorette naturally made me think of Motorhead. That in turn made me think of watching the Young Ones when I was in junior high. So, naturally I had to find the video of Lemmy and the boys doing Ace of Spades on the Young Ones. If you’re one of my Twitter followers, you already know this.

So as my brain continued to stagger around youtube, the tram car scene in Austin Powers where he gets himself wedged into a hallway came to mind. The tram and the little Motorette do kind of look like they could be cousins.

And seriously, I ask you… who hasn’t been there? Wedged in a hallway on a tram car, I mean. Not being dragged willy-nilly around the darkest reaches of the internet by your mind which incidentally seems to have… a mind… of it’s own. Righty-o. Moving on.

And THEN… I found this (cue harps). This that could only be described as the epitome of vintage girlie motorscooter fun; four dames on a Motorette careening towards greatness.

“Mabel, do you think I’ll be home in time to get the roast out of the oven? Charles simply has to have his supper and a highball on the table when he returns from a hard day at the office.”
“Oh, Betty! Don’t be such a square. We’re going riding! Weeeeeeee!

Source: Posted by LowKat on JalopyJournal

What have we learned here today? That I probably shouldn’t be left unsupervised at my computer.

The Motorette was originally built in the mid-1940’s in Buffalo, NY. It apparently sipped gas and could crank up and cruise at a zippy 39, not 40mph. Which if you ask me seems terrifying.

For more information about this cute, little doodlebug:

9 Replies to “Rhinebeck National Meet: 1947 Vintage Motorette”

  1. Looks just like it would be at home, in a holiday camp, in the 1970’s here in the UK. I WANT IT!!!!!!!!!!

    ps Ian survived 2 Motorhead concerts in 3 days back in the 80’s. No wonder he keeps throwing a deaf ear to Guzzisue 🙂

    1. I think Biker Ted would look smashing behind the wheel, bar, steering thingy of the Motorette!

      “Sorry, honey. I didn’t hear you…{points at ear}.. Motorhead.”
      I think i’ll start using that excuse too 😉

      1. About 1948 in Nashville Tennessee I talked my Father into buying me a Motorette for my personal pleasure. He paid 150.00 for it used and I went all over the city with it. I sure would love to buy another now.

        Gary Johnson

  2. My great-grandfather and two of his coworkers actually invented the Motorette. I still live in Buffalo where they had their little factory. I have just recently started researching more into the company that the three men created. Someday I hope to even buy a Motorette to have a piece of our family history. It was great seeing all the interest this funky little vehicle gets! I would love to chat further with anyone who is interested.

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