Me ‘N Mini Me: 1965 King Midget with 1958 Cushman Scooter

In 1945, two pilots – Claud Dry and Dale Orcutt – started a spare parts business in Athens, Ohio, selling government surplus bearings, engines, wheels, and so forth. It was a mail-order outfit but the pair rapidly began building scooters, then turned to making kit cars. Their car was called the King Midget. The first kits came with just a frame, axles, springs, and steering components. Buyers supplied the body, motor, brakes, and so forth. Responding to demand, the company began making completed cars, eventually upgrading to the Mk II Midget. Now the lucky buyer would receive a 7.5 hp Wisconsin engine, and you could option it out with reverse gear, a starter, or automatic transmission. The final version of the Midget arrived in 1957 with a 9.5 hp Wisconsin engine, unit-body construction, and hydraulic brakes. Meanwhile, back in the land of scooters, Cushman had been making Husky four-stroke engines for small agricultural equipment since 1903. In order to boost demand for its engine, it began scooter production in 1936. The Eagle came along in 1949, with an exposed engine, mimicking a motorcycle. Here on eBay in a package deal, is a 1965 King Midget trailering a 1958 Cushman scooter, for sale. The starting bid is $10,000 with no bids yet, and a Buy it Now of $13,995. The vehicles are located in Merrillan, Wisconsin. Thanks to Larry D. for the tip!

The two vehicles were restored about ten years ago. The King Midget has a 9-hp Kohler engine that’s been rebuilt and is said to start and run well with no smoking. Sources say the Midget’s top speed was about 50 mph. The seller warns that the Midget’s paint looks good but is cracking in places. White was the only color on offer before 1966. The Cushman Eagle has a rebuilt 8-hp Husky engine and it also runs great. The custom trailer comes with the purchase.

The Cushman has telescoping front forks, dual exhaust, two-speed transmission, teardrop gas tank, a buddy seat, sprung saddle, and that 8-hp motor. If you dared, this package was also good for about 50 mph.

The Midget’s interior is spartan but done to a high standard. This car had a 76.5-inch wheelbase. While the Midget was initially advertised as a 500 lb car for $500, by the time the Mk III came along, it cost about $900 new. The end of the run for the King Midget came in 1970, but this car, as a 1965 model, was made while the company was still under Dry and Orcutt’s ownership. The pair sold the company in 1966, after which it faded. There’s not much to repair with this pair; looks like they are ready for car shows and parades as is!

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Drove one of these several years ago. Major noise maker without any sound deadening material but unusual and fun. Nice job on the restorations.

    Like 2
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Nice touch on the flames!

    Like 2
  3. steve

    I actually got stopped by the state police when driving a King Midget. He was SURE I was driving an escapee from a carnival ride….
    Boy..I’ll bet that 9+ hp engine makes pulling that trailer a breeze!
    I am agog.. That’s good as we are suffering a gog shortage right now…

    Like 9
    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

      Steve you gave me a good chuckle. Thanks I needed that.

      God Bless America

      Like 2
    • Ray

      You forgot to mention that the car had no brakes at the time and you were giving rides! And you got stopped for going too slow in a 55 mph zone!

  4. Howie

    Being a guy are we allowed to say cute? Has a $10,000 bid now, but reserve not met.

    Like 4
  5. Corky Aeh

    I actually lived in Athens , Ohio for 37 years and went to several King Midget Jamborees …For a long time I looked for a K.M. to buy and restore ….I would love this one except for it having the trailer / scooter that goes with it , also restored way above the spartan K.M. standards …. If they want to loose the trailer and scooter and drop the price way down , I may consider it !!

    • -OZ- Member

      I really am interested in the Cushman Corky…. How much are you interested in the KM?

  6. Guggie 13

    as a kid , a guy by my Grandmothers had a King Midget , and he used to drive it up and down main st , I wanted one so bad 15 years old , that is until I saw my first car !958 Buick 2 dr , big difference I would say , lol still a nice example of KM

  7. Frank

    When I was a kid in the early 60s, the Cincinnati Zoo had a ride where you got to drive a King Midget around a track. It was a lot of fun as a 12 year old and probably a cheap way to get a ride for the zoo!

  8. Steve Clinton

    I’m sure the Hell’s Angels are cowering in fear.

    Like 2
  9. chrlsful

    the guy (or restorer/pairer) gets my:
    8^ 0
    But not my:
    $

  10. That Guy

    Which is which?

    Like 1

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