Who Saved The Cushman Scooter?  

Chapter 1
By Bob Jungbluth

I know that a great deal of history has been written on this subject, most of it the true facts. I will not try a bore you with more of the same, but will give you some new facts that will allow you to enjoy your Cushman a little more. Once Cushman decided that their new Cushman scooter with the overhead valve engine was not going to survive the motorcycles from Japan, parts for the cast iron Eagles became hard to find, even though Cushman had promised they would supply parts for 7 years for these products. Cushman did keep their promise on most of the scooter line, but as much as we love our scooters today, there just was no demand for parts, as we know it to be today. Cushman knew this, and had to deal with it in a way that did not hurt their reputation. 

Early in 1970 I saw row after row of short block 2 5/8 and 3 inch motors at Cushman. They would not, or could not sell them, as this would start a new 7year time limit on replacement parts. Cushman had 100's of thousands of dollars in scooter parts that no one really wanted, and that they were more than likely paying an inventory tax on every year. 

The Cushman Factory memo from the Engineering Department dated May 14, 1962, No. 119, that shows  the depth of the problems Cushman was having with the Aluminum engine Eagles. 1  This bulletin would indicate that they were converting unsold 1961 Aluminum Eagle Scooters to 1963 models. So you may have a 1963 Eagle, that in fact was made in 1961, stripped down again, and rebuilt as a 1963 model. They sent almost 100 parts to salvage (scrap iron) to do this.  Not only was the cost of this change a financial disaster for Cushman, the Cushman employees wondered how long their company could go on like this, and if they would still have a job. 

I had the pleasure of working with the folks at Sales and Service, Mail Order, and the Cushman purchasing department over a 10 year period, and you could not have been treated any better that these folks treated me. Most of the employees at that time were 20 and 30-year employees, and were like a big family, so I could understand their concerns. I want you to take note of the 1963 date, as I will come back to this in another installment of our story. 

Now that Cushman finally had their Aluminum engine scooter revamped and on the road, sales still were not good. Memos were sent to dealers to try and get them to stock up on parts. Memos from Cushman dated Dec 27, 1961, and May 27,1963 deal with Cushman trying to get the dealers to stock up.  So now they could not unload their surplus parts inventory on the dealers, what will they do with it? I will let you know in the next installment of" Who Saved The Cushman Scooter "  

Your California Cushman Friend, Bob Jungbluth

Footnote 1:     The bulletin on the 1961 to 1963 scooter conversion is
listed at the Site Index Page.

Copyright 1999 by Jim Frederick & Bob Jungbluth. May be copied for non-commercial
use if copyright notice is retained and credit is given.

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