Who Saved The Cushman Scooter?
again from Sunny California. As
I mentioned in our last chapter, Cliff Tompkin introduced me to George
Hametz at Cushman's Sales and Service building. When I mentioned to
George that I had been buying all the crankshafts that I could find, but
was unable to get the part number 875001 standard rod bearing through my
Omaha dealers, he picked up the phone. After short conversation with
someone, he told me Cushman had over 200 sets of these bearing at $ 1.75
per set. I ask him to write up an order for 100 sets, and walked over to
Mail Order and picked them up. With in 5 days I drove back to the
Cushman plant in Lincoln and asked George if I could buy 100 more sets
of the bearings, only to find that they had been sold to a man in
Pennsylvania. This person, I later discovered, was also buying parts for
Micro Midget racing.
Now I had a real problem. I had over 400 crankshafts, but only 100 rod bearings to fit them. George Hametz said "I think I can help you with this”. He called Don Yates at the Cushman Purchasing office and made a appointment for me to see him. When I explained to Don that I was with the Micro Midget racing and that the Cushman motor was still one of our main motors, he ask "how can I help you?" I explained my bearing problem he said that Cushman would not restock this bearing, but if I wanted to have it reproduced he would write a letter to Clevite Bearing in Cleveland, Ohio stating that it was all right to use Cushman’s tooling to make the bearing for me. This he did, and the next day I placed an order with Clevite for 1200 sets of the standard bearing. Including this order I found that I had spent about $4,000 on Cushman parts, not counting the gas, the lost time at work, and the time driving back and forth to Lincoln.
NOS parts being dumped at Northwest had almost stopped and I had to know
how many more Cushman might have. My funds to buy parts were quickly
starting to dry up. If I could buy out the remaining stock of their
parts, then I could protect the investment that I already had. George
Hametz told me to write to Dan Hedglin, the Service Manager at Cushman,
and ask about buying the remaining NOS motor parts. These were really
the only Cushman parts that I was interested in at that time. While
Cliff Tompkin and others had been picking up gas tanks, scooter frames,
and sheet metal parts, I had stayed with just motor parts. On November
19, 1973 Dan Hedglin was kind enough to reply to my offer to buy out the
remaining NOS motor parts. I was happy to see that Cliff and I did have
all the Cushman motor blocks, as none were listed, No standard bearings
were listed either. Even though it included a generous offer by Dan
Hedglin to refer future orders for these parts to me, $ 42,0000.00 was a
bit more than my wife Mary would let me spend.
copy of Dan Hedglin's letter is pictured below
California Cushman Friend,