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:


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

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10 Responses

  1. Cadillac Jack says:

    Interesting post, very informational, and quite funny writing!

  2. Biker Ted says:

    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 🙂

    • Fuzzygalore says:

      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 😉

  3. Sarah Griebner says:

    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.

  4. Dan Neidetcher says:

    This is an old thred but I have a mottorette, my father bought it 40 years ago. I have had it running a while back. I have it out to work on now. I’m wondering if there is a club for the mottorette ? I would assume it would be in New York.

  1. July 8, 2010

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