When you think scooter, you think “compact,” and with a 30 inch wheelbase the Argyle is definitely small. It gets even smaller when you fold the frame mid-point, under the cylinder, and fold the steering stem/handlebar and footpegs to stash it in a car trunk.
In the small scooter category Argyle scooters were unique for their all-aluminum construction, though some earlier versions used steel frames. A much larger all aluminum chassis and body scooter is the Italian-made Rumi, which is also on display at the National Motorcycle Museum.
Though some used Clinton engines, most Argyles were powered by two-stroke Power Products brand engines of 2.5 horsepower offering strong performance for such a small package. Literature notes 40 miles per hour. Drive is via centrifugal clutch to a belt to a jackshaft, then a chain to the rear wheel. At around 50 pounds, and foldable to a small package, they were convenient for private pilots or car drivers who needed a runabout in a local area.
The Argyle “Scooter Cub” was built by the Phillips Conveyor Company, or Phillips Aluminum Manufacturing Company, or C & E Manufacturing Co. of Memphis, Missouri in the 1950’s, or R. Stevens & Co. New York, New York; the name and manufacturing location changed over time. With processes for casting, forming and welding aluminum, these companies already had the needed capacity to branch out, in a small way, to transportation. Argyle Cub, JoyRide and Dinky-Cycle were names used by the succession of owners with rights to manufacture the machine. During the post-World War II scooter craze, and before the surge of lightweight, inexpensive motorcycles from Japanese companies, there were many brands of scooters made in America, and many were the result of companies with manufacturing capacity looking for a product to market.
When you visit the National Motorcycle Museum you can see a very wide range of small and large scooters, as well as mini-bikes, from American, German, Italian, and Japanese manufacturers. From the early and large pre-World War II Salsbury to the Iowa-made Doodle Bug and Egley, there’s a great variety of scooters to enjoy.
- Engine: Two-Stroke, Air-Cooled
- Type: Port Induction
- Horsepower: 2.5HP
- Lubrication: Pre-Mix
- Starting: Recoil Pull Starter
- Transmission: Centrifugal Clutch, Belt, Chain
- Brakes: Rear, by Pedal
- Wheels/Tires: 2.50 x 4 Inch / 2.50 x 4 Inch
- Wheelbase: 30 Inches
- Weight: 50 Pounds
Argyle Scooter Cub advertisements courtesy of Rockers Bike Ads