Back to the future with Globester scooters

Brooks-Stevens-Globester-Motor-Scooter-1 Brooks-Stevens-Globester-Motor-Scooter-2 Brooks-Stevens-Globester-Motor-Scooter-3I can’t find out much about Globester scooters on the web, but the one thing that stand out from these pics is that they are so ahead of their time… Found via the excellent Retronaut site, (one of the non-scootering blogs that’s on my regular reading list), they date from 1946… I think that just relates to the top pic though. I think that’s pretty amazing, I would have guessed the fifties at the earliest. When you think that Innocenti’s  Model A, on the face of it a much less sophisticated design, dates from 1947, you get the impression that American scooters had a definite head start on those from Italy!Screen Shot 2014-03-15 at 10.07.05The ad above does come from the nifty fifties, and the one thing that strikes me from that is that is the price… the Globester doesn’t strike me as a cheap scooter! I don’t know why the Globester wasn’t a bigger success, maybe it comes down to engineering, reliability, price or fashion, but it’s certainly not as well known (this side of the pond at least) as that other iconic US brand, The Cushman. As an aside, did you know you can buy a brand new Cushman today? Here’s the link.

The other Cushman link on the blog worth checking out, if you like this kind of thing, is a beautiful custom job, check it out here.

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After the return of the Lambretta… iconic US Cushman scooter makes a comeback

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That’s right folks. I never saw this one coming! Cushman’s are being made again in the US, by K-Jack Motors in California. And they look pretty good too. Those that know their Lambretta history will know the original Lambretta’s owed more than a little to the Cushman, who were around since the early 1900’s… and their “Airborne” model scooter, dropped with US paratroops in Italy during WW2. When Innocenti (and Piaggio) had to re-engineer their factories from making military vehicles and armaments, many regard the lightweight Cushman scooters as a spark of inspiration for both these companies.

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The rest is history. The two italian firms went on to dominate scooter production in the 50’s and 60’s, firstly in Italy, then Europe, and finally worldwide. Without the styling elan of the Italian models, the Cushman became regarded as a bit of an oddball… at least in Europe. Even in the US, Italian scooters were seen as sophisticated and cosmopolitan.

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But the world has changed… and in an era of generic, plastic scooters these re-engineered Cushmans have more than a little elan of their own. They are certainly stylish, and certainly look much more like the original Cushman than the new Lambretta’s… look to their predecessors.

There are two models, (see EDIT / UPDATE) the Highlander and the Step Thru. Equipped with modern engines – up to 400cc, disk brakes front and rear, and an all steel frame, they are nippy, and sturdy too. The styling that I used to regard as laughably clunky and boxy now looks (to my eye, anyway) funkily utilitarian, and retro chic. The day of the Cushman may finally have arrived!

EDIT / UPDATE: Jack Chalabian of K-Jack has been in touch to tell me there are actually FOUR models of the Cushman II in the pipeline…  the Highlander, Step-Thru, Eagle, and Trailster. They will have a 9 or 14 horsepower overhead cam engine with electric start in all the models. While trying (and succeeding, I reckon) to keep the original look with modern DOT requirements; they are compliant throughout the United States… including California.

via Visordown

Find out more at the K-Jack Website, or Facebook page.