Rare and Odd Micro: 1946 Motorette Truckette

1946-motorette-truckette

This little micro car, if it can be classified as a car, might look like nothing more than a couple pieces of sheet metal riveted together, but it actually is a rare vehicle. These small 3-wheelers were originally intended to be used as transportation at the company’s mile-long airplane manufacturing facility, but they quickly discovered that they had a number of uses. They became a popular form of transportation amongst city dwellers, even Bob Hope had one. This one is a rare 1946 Motorette Truckette, meaning it has a small cargo area behind the seat. It’s in rough shape and the motor is missing, but the seller has started bidding at $500 with no reserve here on eBay.

motorette-dealership

Looking at this old Motorette photo, you can see just how much work this Truckette is going to need. The body is in very rough shape, with dents and dings on every body panel. Thankfully, it’s extremely small and simplistic. It is also missing its 4 horsepower air-cooled one-cylinder motor and finding another could be a challenge, but just about any 5 horse motor could be installed. The original motor could propel the Truckette to nearly 40 mph, so we wouldn’t to go with much more power in fear of wrecking.

1946-motorette-truckette-2

If you’re willing to put in the work yourself, this should prove to be a cheap project. It certainly won’t get you anywhere fast, but it should be great for around town and would draw lots of attention. We hope someone will save it, but it will take finding a buyer with a micro interest and a macro wallet.

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Comments

  1. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    Maybe ‘Motorette Truckette’ was an appealing name in the ’40s, but I’m not sure that it’s the right name for these macho times.

    I can’t get up much enthusiasm for it as my personal transportation right now, but who knows? Maybe if I wait until I’m as old as Bob Hope things will change. And I imagine if I install something with some grunt, it’s got to be better than a wheelchair.

    • Gary

      If you wait until your as old as Bob Hope its too late he’s dead.

  2. scot

    ~ few things qualify as not better than a wheelchair. in Missouri cycles less than 50cc do not require a license plate or valid drivers license. i can’t tell you if this fits the criteria or not, but it might.
    http://i.ebayimg.com/t/49cc-50cc-License-Plate-Tag-Scooter-Motorcycle-Golf-Cart-Mini-Pocket-Bike-Moped-/00/s/MTUwMFg5OTU=/$T2eC16NHJIIE9qTYI1gCBQUVg4g+Qg~~60_35.JPG

  3. michaedo

    I’d electrify it, take it to the beach,
    and sell hot dogs out of the back.

  4. Gary

    There was one of these in the woods behind an old falling down shed at a house across the street from here I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s long with a Cushman scooter and some antique snowmobiles. I went back a few years back and some clod bought the land and sub divided it and put a driveway right though where the stuff use to sit, apparently it was all hauled off or bulldozed under. Sad.

    • David

      That is sad, this same story happened to me but with a Porsche 356

  5. ConservativesDefeated

    Too cool for school

    http://www.wppl.org/wphistory/ShowalterFamily/ShowalterMotoretteCoAdvertisement8Feb1946.jpg

    : The Showalter Family Collection – The Showalter Motorette Co.

    And not made by the Chinese!

  6. ConservativesDefeated
  7. Don Andreina

    Bob Hope would have needed one just to get around the house.

    http://www.highsnobiety.com/2013/03/07/bob-hopes-space-age-palm-springs-home-on-the-market/

  8. paul

    I’d like to see it with a Yamaha, say 750, refrigerant in the back, selling Good Humor & of course some smokey burnouts, just to attract the kids, who’s in & wants to fund the project?

  9. RobM

    I saw a restored one of these at Hershey 10 years ago. It would be fun for very short distances.

  10. Connor

    It reminds me of a ’50’s style bumper car.

  11. Fred

    I had a similar vehicle as a kid – powered by a 12hp Wisconsin engine with electric start. Got caught operating it in the neighborhood and was “chased” several blocks by the FL highway patrol.

  12. Greg

    I know it’s been a few years, but Have you sold the Truckett?

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