Our Own Family Truckster!

Cushman Truckster

We are still busy going through all the applications sent in for new writers, but wanted to share this story which sent in from Brian U. Brian is into all sorts of cars and is on the Operating Committee of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. He participates in SCCA events and seems like a good all-round guy. Take a look and let him and us know what you think: My brother recently came across this 1972 Cushman Truckster in a barn at a golf course amongst the cast aside golf carts. With a price he couldn’t pass up, he did the only reasonable thing…drag it to my parents’ house and drop it off at my Dad’s workshop (what a great son).

While my brother has a reputation of buying trucks and equipment of questionable condition and reliability, finding this Truckster has made up for his previous sins. This find will give my brothers, Dad, and I a fun little project. The vehicle is mostly complete and runs well, but is not without its issues. Wiring has been cobbled together, brakes are nonexistent, and it has the overall look and feel of a 40-plus year old utility vehicle that is well used but not necessarily abused.

I have an affinity for anything mechanical, but am always drawn to a drivetrain that is considered atypical by today’s standard-issue mass produced vehicles. When I found out this Cushman has a 2-cylinder boxer with a three-on-the-tree, the lack of brakes did nothing to deter me from ripping it up and down the driveway a dozen times. A drivetrain combo like this pushes all the right buttons in my book! The engine feels strong, and I was genuinely surprised with the power from the little flat-2. The shift linkage will need some adjustment, but the smiles this little utility vehicle is capable of generating was unexpected.

What’s in store for this Cushman? Rebuilding the master cylinder, straightening out the cobbled together wiring, and making it generally safe and usable is the first order of business. After that, the plan is a little up in the air. We have discussed everything from driving it as is, to a rolling restoration, to a full blown body-off restoration.

Regardless of which direction we go with this project it is going to make a practical vehicle for yard work, a great support vehicle at the track, or perfect for just terrorizing the neighborhood.

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Comments

  1. American_Badaz

    Leave the cosmetics, and install a Hayabusa engine. At least that’s what I’d do! l ol

  2. Rancho Bella

    I’d use it to haul alfalfa out to Zorro

  3. Dave Wright

    I have owned several Cushmans, both Trucksters and Tracksters. The engine is kind of a Onan/Cushman hybrid. Some Onan parts will fit and some won’t. I have scraped Trucksters to get the engine for Tracksters. Original engine parts can be difficult to find and expensive. Today most people redoing them go Honda. Most Trucksters were 4 wheel, they are around for little money and there is realitivley little resale but they are useful vehicles. Tracksters have a loyal following and can be expensive……super fun machines that can be anfibious. My John Deere Gator 4×6 is more versital than the Trucksters.

  4. JMB#7

    We had one of these on the golf course that I worked at while in college. Early ’80s. The opposed twin is fairly responsive and the 3 speed shifts very quick. Like any 3 on the tree, there is a lot of free play. Free play in a shift linkage never slowed down my shifting. Loads of fun to drive.

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