1960 Cast Iron Super Eagle Cushman

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It might be hard for younger folks to imagine that these scooters were at one time a viable means of transportation, but Cushman built Scooters until 1966. The Vespa’s and Lambrettas were lighter, much faster and much more agile. The Italian scooters weighed about 200 pounds while the Cushmans weighed about 300. They were slow and cumbersome by comparison, but they were sturdy. I used a Cushman to run a gopher trap line on farms in New Mexico (The gophers cause leaks in the irrigation canals). The cast iron 8 horsepower engines and 2 speed gearbox got you nowhere fast, but they eventually got you there. This Super Eagle listed here on craigslist in Ryderwood, Oregon is an example of someone’s customizing taste in motor scooters. It was found in a barn and is completely original except for the added custom touches. Is that a fake exhaust pipe to match the real one on the other side? Perhaps it was restored at some time and then put away. The $3,500 asking price might seem really high, but there is an interest in these and ones do often sell for around $3,000. All it took to get this one running was cleaning up the fuel system and adding fresh gas.

Cushman Scooter Gauge

This scooter appears to be in great shape, especially considering its age.

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That’s an interesting way to run the exhaust pipe. I guess that discouraged passengers. It looks like this scooter is ready to ride. One might want to lose the saddlebags and replace the old tires. The 7,800 miles on the odometer might just be accurate. It’s hard to imagine riding any motor scooter farther than that.

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Comments

  1. Paul R

    Super Cool!

  2. Matt Tritt

    What. 60 isn’t fast enough? A few dorky add-ons, but a good looking Eagle, none the less!

  3. Skip

    Wow! Haven’t seen one of these since I ran across one in the ’70s that belonged to a friend of mine who managed a Radio Shack in Lubbock. I could’ve bought it for $50, and it was in extremely good condition! The guy was preparing to move out of state to another store and couldn’t take it. I would’ve loved to have had it; but at that time the $50 was more than I could afford. My loss was hopefully someone else’s gain. When I was in junior high, the Eagles had just come out. I wanted one so badly, but being of very small stature at the time, it was out of the question. But finally when I was in 9th grade (in 1959) my dad finally talked my mom into letting me have a scooter. It wasn’t an Eagle, but the Allstate version of the Cushman Highlander. I drove it until either my junior or senior year and then passed it on to my cousin. I think he sold it to someone years later.

  4. Jack Couch

    I rode one as a young kid in junior high, I had very fond memories of it as a super hot rod. Bought one off of ebay a few years back, serious reality check, wide open is 45 mph, the small diameter fat tires have some centrifugal force issues I completely forgot about. Great fun for a neighborhood cruise, but no wonder they lost out to the modern motorcycle. These things are very well built, the 8 hp iron eagle is tougher than the 9 hp super eagle which has a overhead valve engine.

  5. Doug Towsley

    I would LEAVE on the period accy’s, those kinds of things really add value and what were availible thru dealers and period suppliers and are virtually unobtainium now. At least dont get rid of them because in resale they push to bikes value way up.
    I worked for a while for a bike dealership that sold retro modern bikes as well as did restorations on vintage bikes and the owner specialized for many years in these as well as the Indian scouts. (Vertical twins with Enfield motors). While I was aware of the Cushmans, especially from attending AMCA events (Antique MC club of America) I had no idea there was so many variants and models until I had to restore a few for customers. These bikes werea very important segment of the entry level American bike scene and often overlooked today.
    Speaking of which. There is a Regional AMCA bike show and swap meet coming up in a few weeks in Tenino Washington. August 19-20-21.
    See: http://www.evergreenamca.org/annual-swap-meet.html While this event tends to be heavily American, (Harley-Indian-Henderson, Cushman etc,,, There tends to be a good selection of vintage British, followed by European and then a bit of Asian. There will be a stunt and drill team performing, food vendors and MC rides in surrounding area. Stock car races at the end of town at South sound speedway as well as the Quarrymen car club is hosting a car show in the lower part of the park. One of my favorite events of the year.

  6. Neil

    Dang’
    This brings back memories from the early ’60’s for me. I had a paper route, and the guy that was our paper shack manager had one. Anyway, he took me out one afternoon on his Cushman. We went to an area that was a dirt road , all rutted and nasty. Anyway, he hit a big rut, and with that rigid frame… I was launched ! Luckily I was young and elastic, no harm done !

  7. Doug Towsley

    They were more intended for kids doing paper delivery and errands, Back when a kid could get a part time job and learn a work ethic. (I grew up working on farms) These were a great transition to real motorcycles but never intended to BE a real motorcycle.
    Another popular one is a “Mustang” and I know a couple guys with them including one with a Triumph 500cc twin motor. Its very popular whenever he brings it to events or shows. I know another guy who has a roller and still talks about finding a motor at the Tenino show rebuilt and ready to go for $300 and how he should have bought it. He pesters me about 1-2 times a year with the same story. My answer is always the same. I am NOT going to sell you a 500 Triumph for $300,. I WOULD sell him a motor, this has been going on for 10-12 years. I do give him credit for persistence.

  8. Matt Tritt

    I suspect that any kid with the wherewithall to afford an Eagle would have to have been the World Champion paper boy. The Eagle was very expensive for a scooter back in the 50’s and it was much cheaper to buy a good used car… My neighbor’s 29 fancy Model A was for sale for $50.00 for at least a year before anyone bought it, and the ’31 Packard down the street went for $150.00 The less fancy Cushmans were pretty cheap, but an Eagle would sell for about the same price as a Mustang or Triumph Cub. Everybody I knew wanted either a Whizzer or Tiger Cub – or maybe that was just me. ;-)

  9. Dave Wright

    I think these were more than a paper boys ride. The military used them in WW2 and after. I think they were also a nostalgia purchase. The airborne units used them as light weight vehicles to ride in on gliders and possibly with parachutes. The military versions are very hot collectors items.

  10. Matt Tritt

    Yeah. I knew a guy who had a “Paratrooper” scooter back when you could find them for almost nothing at surplus sales. Come to think of it though, I don’t know if his was English or American made. It was small and folded up to be even smaller.

  11. Dave Wright

    They also morfed into tote Goats, early dirt bikes later in the 50’s. My great uncle sold his string of mules when they came out. He got busted coming home with the tote goat carrying over his limit of fish. He used to send a mule home by himself with his excess fish. My dad asked him why that tote goat didn’t know it’s way home yet…….

  12. Skip

    I like what Matt and Doug said. I used my ’59 Cushman/Allstate Highlander scooter for my paper route, which was very short-lived: just a summer job. My route quickly ended the day that a dog ran out in front of me. I hit the dog which wasn’t hurt, but the “collision” tossed me and the scooter and I hit the pavement before the scooter did. I suffered a “hairline” fracture to my right shoulder, so that ended the paper route and kept me off the scooter for a couple of months. But once I was out of that blasted shoulder brace, I was back up on two wheels again!

  13. Dick Plastino

    While working in Alaska between my junior and senior year in 1966, I bought a 1959 or 60 Super Eagle. We rode it around the outback of Alaska and brought it back to the University of Idaho. I had the engine rebuilt in Lewiston, Idaho, but ruined the ring job climbing Whitebird hill from Lewiston to Moscow, Idaho. I kept adding STP and finally one day the engine finally ground to a stop. When I removed the oil plug, about a minute later a thick drop of goo came out. Sold it for $50.

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