Salsbury Scooter Model 85 Mint 1947 Up For Grabs
Vintage bikes can be downright original. Salsbury is a brand that debuted in the 1930s, providing inexpensive transportation services to post-Depression Americans, and this is a perfect example of a 1947 Model 85 for sale on Bring a trailer.
E. Foster Salsbury started his brand with the Salsbury Aero Model Motor Glide in 1936 – only about two dozen were made. Amelia Earhart was apparently involved, serving as one of the inspirations for Salsbury.
The model we have here is the 85 model, a 1947 model to be exact. Judging by its appearance, it is in mint condition and has a very avant-garde design that shares some characteristics with the early Vespas. The pass-through frame does not require the user to “swing a leg,” just like the women’s bicycle frames that were manufactured and sold at the time.
Mechanically it comes with a CVT, but it’s not of the continuous variety. Salsbury’s “CVT” is actually an abbreviation for constant speed transmission, no continuously variable transmission like most modern CVTs. The motor is also centrally located and it even has a trunk for added convenience. Unlike most modern motorcycles, it has an accelerator and a foot brake – very similar to a car. The idea was that foot controls would be easier for customers with automobiles to acclimatize to two-wheeled transport with this control system. The 320cc, fan-cooled side-valve engine produced six horsepower and a top speed of around 50 miles per hour.
Rarity also plays a role in the charm of the Model 85. The scooter was only produced between 1947 and 1950 with less than 1000 units manufactured. At the time, the Model 85 was selling for $ 800 USD. Factoring in inflation, a brand new Salsbury 85 model would cost around $ 9,500, so the current offer of $ 8,000 at the time of writing seems quite reasonable.
The application closes on Friday, May 28, in approximately 5 days. The bike is listed on Bring a Trailer, and the listing says an oil change and spark plug replacement has already been done according to the seller. Perhaps the only downside to this deal is that the bike has been painted, which means the scooter chassis number is illegible. History buffs who are scooter enthusiasts might prefer the chassis code to be intact, but nonetheless it is a very original scooter and something you don’t see every day.