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1947 Salsbury Model 85 Scooter: Drool-Worthy Dreamboat Could Be Yours

rear quarter view of a 1947 Salsbury Model 85, currently for sale for $8000 USD

Ageless aerodynamics. 

Absolute cupboard of a caboose. 

The putter of perfection. 

All this and more could be yours for a minimum bid of $8,000. 

Am I kidding? Nope. Say hello to the Jetson family, folks.

BringATrailer has 3 days left on a bid for a vintage firetruck-red 1947 Model 85 scooter, and I’m digging the dynamics. What other scooter can brag gas/brake pedals, a spring-cushioned solo seat, and 1.5 cubic feet of storage capacity?

According to a report from RideApart, Salisbury started up with their scooter line in the 1930s, when post-Depression Americans were looking for a cheap commute. Amelia Earheart, female pilot, and icon of the times, was said to have served as an inspiration for Salsbury’s spiffy style.

And that’s not all. Style came with speed, even back then. The scooter’s top velocity is due to the 320cc fan-cooled, 6 hp side-valve motor and maxes out at a hair-raising 50 mph – pray you don’t hit the speed bumps the wrong way. 

black and white photo of a Salsbury Model 85, 1947

The Model 85 was acquired by its current owner in 1996 and has since been refurbished with chrome detailing, paint touch-ups, and a fine-tuned CVT – in this case, ‘CVT’ standing for ‘Constant Velocity Transmission,’ not ‘Continuously Variable Transmission,’ as is true for most modern CVTS with a hand throttle. 

Additional perk: only 1000 units of this model were made, with precious few remaining in such good shape. They sold for $800 back then, so the full accounting for inflation tips the scales at a neat $9500.  

It’s a bargain, and you know you want it – if only to putter about town and make your neighbors jelly.