Who Saved The Cushman Scooter?  

Chapter Six
By Bob Jungbluth

Well, I hope I have not bored you so far with our stories of Cushman parts and how Cushman disposed of them when they discontinued the Cushman scooter line. The year 1974 saw little in the way of Cushman NOS scooter parts coming to Northwest Metal. Now, for some reason, there were a large quantity of golf cart parts at Northwest. With the junk yard gone dry, George Hanetz at Cushman Sales and Service became my source of NOS scooter motor parts. On several visits I found as many as 10 to 12 NOS short block 2- 5/8 scooter motors. George said the price was $ 15.00 each, and I told him I would take them all. "No”, he said”, their are other people who may want one of these blocks." Unlike my friend Cliff Tompkin, I was not too worried about the next guy, and I could see that this upset George. I bought four of the motors that day. Even though I saw six of these 2 5/8 motors sitting at Sales and Service for several months, I did not try to buy any more.

Several months later the valves listed in Dan Hedglin's letter, 1 and all the rod insert bearings came to Sales and Service. Once again I tried to buy all the rod insert bearings, and once again George told me in a polite way  "No, there are others that need these items". This was the last time I would try to buy out all the parts because I could see that this really upset George. Many of the other NOS motor parts that Dan Hedglin had listed in his letter wound up with George over the next year and a half.

My trips to Lincoln now were down to about once a month, and only to Cushman Sales and Service, as nothing was going to Northwest Metal now. When I went to Sales and Service, Jerry Fleck, one of the employees that worked for George, would often tell me,  “Bob I think some of this or that came in, and its back there on the shelf ."  Jerry was one of the great employees at Cushman that made going there a lot of fun. By 1975 the people in the mail order department were beginning to forward requests for parts from customers to me. This was the first time since I started to get these NOS parts that I had received any interest from people needing parts for their scooters. 

I found out what Cushman already knew, there was just no big demand for scooter parts. Many times on my visits to George Hametz he had parts that had been sent back to Cushman from their dealers around the country.  On several occasions I also received requests from dealers asking me to buy out their remaining stock. Right to the end, George Hametz kept what was left of the NOS motor parts from being destroyed, and kept them at Sales and Service for those that needed them. I am sure he was under a great deal of pressure to scrap these parts, but he told me many times, "there are people out there with Cushman scooters that need these parts." George Hametz died in 1980, just before he was to retire. I am sure George belongs to the group "Who Saved The Cushman Scooter”.

 In the next chapter we will tell you about a famous pioneer Cushman parts dealer from Dothan, Alabama, then we will move up North to Portland, IN.

Your California Cushman Friend, 

Bob Jungbluth

1  Cushman letter from Dan Hedglin offering to sell me their old stock at 55% off dealer price, even though at the time they were selling it to Northwest Metals for eight cents per pound. This was mentioned in an earlier chapter of this story.