Stafford Mobile Pup 1919ca motorized scooter 142cc OHV frame # 999 engine # B728
The end of the war in 1918 left many manufacturers, who had been reliant on war work, with little to do. To diversify, several started to manufacture motor scooters, a type of vehicle that was mainly aimed at female customers who could use it for short journeys and shopping trips. Most were poorly designed and sales were low. The scooter craze was over by the mid-1920s but they would become popular again in the 1950s. One of the firms that started to produce scooters was Stafford Auto-Scooters Ltd. of Coventry that marketed its scooter as the “Mobile Pup”. Various engine positions were used by scooter manufacturers, but the Mobile Pup was unique in that it had the engine positioned on the left of the front wheel. The flywheel was on the right and the drive passed through the wheel spindle to the flywheel and then back via reduction gears and a rubber cush drive to the hub. It had small wire wheels, with the rear one fully enclosed, and the fuel tank sat above the front mudguard. Initially, it was ridden in a standing position, but a seat was added early in 1920. The interesting little ohv engine has bore x stroke dimensions of 55x60mm and was produced by T.G. John and Company Ltd. and apparently was of Thomas George John’s own design. Some years later it was described as a “Norman”. The engine is fitted with a Ruthardt magneto and there’s a metal parcel box in front of the rider’s feet. Oil is fed to the engine via a handpump and the drive is direct single speed: pull in the valve lifter, put one foot on the running board and scoot the machine into motion, drop the valve lifter and draw the other foot on board as the engine fires. And off you go! The combination of too much weight on the front wheel, offset to one side, and flimsy construction, resulted in a not-so-stable ride and we understand that only about a hundred Mobile Pups were produced, of which only seven are known to have survived. The Classic Motorcycle of March, 2018 features an article in which four scooters from the Sammy Miller collection are compared: The Kenilworth, Kingsbury, Stafford Pup and ABC Skootamota.
This rare survivor has been part of a private collection for some 40 years and comes in unrestored condition.