1919 Stafford Auto-Scooter MOBILE PUP Engine

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1919 Stafford Auto-Scooter MOBILE PUP Engine

(Now sold)




The engine was designed by Thomas John (1880-1946) who, in 1919, bought an American company Holley Brothers & Co, and renamed it T.G. John in order to produce the Mobile Pup Scooter.
George and Earl Holley’s first vehicle was the 1897 Runabout, a three-wheeler powered by a single-cylinder engine. Earl was working as a bank teller, when in 1899 the 18-year-old put his limited business knowledge to work by joining forces with his brother to form Holley Motor Company to manufacture motorcycle engines. Earl, serving as president, handled the administrative end, while George, the chairman of the concern, was in charge of engineering and sales. The demand for motorcycle engines, however, proved to be limited because what customers wanted were complete motorcycles. The brothers began making motorcycles, and George promoted the business with his considerable driving skills. In 1902 he won the first Motorcycle Endurance Contest, and set a number of world speed records for motorcycles at the prestigious Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. They made the Holley Motorette four-wheeler after gaining the American rights to a new French carburettor in 1904. Henry Ford bought their Carburettor business in 1917. In 1918 the company name changed to Holley Carburetor Company. It’s likely that the engine used by T.G. John in the Mobile Pup was actually one of the engines used by Holley for their early motorcycles.
The scooter was powered by a 142cc ohv engine manufactured by John, which was positioned on the left side of the front wheel. The flywheel was on the right, connected through the wheel spindle by a long mainshaft. It had wire wheels, with the rear one fully enclosed, and the fuel tank sat above the mudguard. To begin with the rider had to stand, but a seat became an option at a later date. The combination of weight, offset to one side, and flimsy construction, resulted in a very unstable ride.