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Briggs & Stratton Flyer : 1917

Filed under:  Classic
Comment(s): 5
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During our six-week excursion in Spain (and other parts of Europe) we have come across many unique stories from Barcelona and the surrounding "Pueblos", like L' Autrodrom De Terramar, Artes, and Automoviles Utilitarios S.A.'s PTV, to name a few, and one such find is this very rare 1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer from Milwaukee Wisconsin (USA).

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer.

This was a very unexpected find. We had just left the AUSA factory after speaking with the folks there about the history of their PTV vehicle, when Antoni and Xavier told us about Jant Joan, and the collection of micro cars he had restored.

This vehicle is powered by a fifth wheel (that contains the motor) and when a lever (that appears like a shifter) is moved, it drops the rear wheel, which makes contact with the road and pushes the car.

In 1908, an informal partnership was formed between inventor Stephen F. Briggs and investor Harold M. Stratton.

From there, Briggs & Stratton progressed to manufacturing automobile parts. Some of the parts the Company produced for the automobile industry included locks, switches, and igniters. In 1910 Briggs & Stratton incorporated, and due to the growing demand for automobiles, starter switches became the early mainstay of the Company’s business.

This informal partnership flourished into the Briggs & Stratton Corporation. Within the initial partnership, Briggs was the inventor and Stratton was the investor. This partnership first ventured into the automobile manufacturing business with this 1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer.

It was restored, and is currently located at Autos Retro near Barcelona, Spain.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer's fifth "powered" wheel.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer's fifth "powered" wheel.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer steering wheel.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer brake.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer detail.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer brake and engine lever.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer engine lever.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer seats.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer engine lever.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer detail.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer engine detail.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer "Briggs" logo detail.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer "Stratton" logo detail.

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1917 Briggs & Stratton Flyer logo detail.

briggs stratton in car

Briggs & Stratton founders Harold Stratton (Left) and Stephen Briggs take a Type J Flyer, which was powered by a motor wheel, for an afternoon ride. (source: Briggs & Stratton)

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Briggs & Stratton logo.

Briggs & Stratton   Milwaukee, WI, USA.
Briggs & Stratton   Official site.
Classic Engines   Briggs & Stratton decals.
Jack Hallaran2638 days ago

Support one of the last great American engine manufacturers!

Guy2531 days ago

That thing is sweet, I wonder how much something like that goes for.

Morgan2456 days ago

Hello. Back in 1920, it sold for about $225.00.
I have a full-page advert for this contraption in a newspaper I own.
Had never seen or heard of such a devil, so research led me to this site with all the wonderful pictures. So cool to see one still in existence.
Positively insane. It sported a 2 H.P. motor. Wonder how much speed
that would really get you up to? Depends on the human body's weight,
no doubt, as a starting point, and whether 1 or 2 bodies are present.
Still, I look upon this as a precursor to the go-cart for kids, except
this is for adults. Way cool!

Rick Stratton2173 days ago

For long time The Flyer was in the Guiness Book as the least expensive car ever sold. Great pictures, especially the early logo with use of the ampersand.

Daniel Greve2023 days ago

Briggs and Stratton did not design the flyer they bought out the Smith motor wheel company and made it there own.

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