1914 Scripps-Booth Rocket Cyclecar
|Weighing less than 700 pounds, featuring tandem seating, a wheelbase 100 inches or less, belt drive and a V-twin Spacke engine, the Rocket Cyclecar is representative of almost every characteristic that marked the short-lived fad called the cyclecar.
While many of the 200 plus manufacturers of cyclecars were simply riding the coattails of a fashion, James Scripps Booths creation was among the most reputable. Scripps Booths first attempt at auto design resulted in the one-of-a-kind Bi-Autogo, a 3,200-pound behemoth that failed to make it beyond the prototype stage. The Rocket followed immediately thereafter, and showed signs of being a fair bit more successful. Scripps Booth described his cyclecar as, elemental cheap transportation for the workingman, putting his intentions among the likes of Henry Ford with his Model T. But as the cost of full-sized autos fell significantly that year, and the tendency of the drive belt to slip in wet weather, 1914 was the only year Scripps Booth produced his Rocket.
Specifications: 10 horsepower, 35 cubic inch, Spacke V-twin air-cooled engine. Price New: $385. Wheelbase: 100 inches. Transmission: two-speed planetary with belt drive. Production: 400 units.
Connections: Compare to the Woods Mobilette and the Scripps Booth Bi-Autogo and Model C.
In 1914 the average automobile cost between $700 and $800, the Rocket cost $385.
Accession no. 1995L04.
On Loan Courtesy of the Detroit Historical Museum
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