837: 1947 Whizzer Motorbike
OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE
Chassis #: N/A
1.375 hp, single-cylinder air-cooled engine, single-speed belt drive, coil-spring front fork, coaster brake and cable-operated front drum brake. Wheelbase: 44"
• Delightful postwar example
• As seen in Popular Mechanics
The Whizzer motorbike arose from an engine marketed by Breene-Taylor Engineering, a Los Angeles manufacturer of aircraft parts, in 1939. Priced at $54.95, it was a 1.375-hp air-cooled unit for mounting on a bicycle frame. Sales of about 1,500 per year were disappointing, so Breene and Taylor sold the company to investor Dietrich Kohlsatt and attorney Martin Goldman. During World War II, the company petitioned the government to continue production as a wartime measure, since the Whizzer allowed defense workers to commute without their automobiles.
Postwar popularity grew, in part from advertising in such magazines as Popular Mechanics and Popular Science. The Whizzer engine was easily attached to a bicycle frame, typically a Schwinn but sometimes a Columbia. The last motorbike engine was made in the early 1950s, after which Whizzer expanded into children’s toys.
This 1947 Whizzer is mounted on a Schwinn Admiral bicycle. The type late-1940s motorbike, it has the iconic Schwinn colors of white and black with red stripe. There is a headlight on the front fender, and the Whizzer fuel tank on the upper frame bar. The rear fender is mounted with an open luggage carrier, and the leather-covered seat has twin coil springs. An early form of affordable city transportation, the Whizzer motorbike can still excite. Just like the thrill of one’s first fast ride on a real two-wheeler, the initial ride on a Whizzer brings out the adrenalin in enthusiasts of all ages.