1964 Cushman Highlander 721 Scooter
The first Highlander was introduced by Cushman in 1949, as a low-cost basic machine to get kids into the scooter market. The first model sold for $187.50.
The 721 Series made its debut in 1958, and was the final Highlander model, as Highlanders were discontinued on 4th August 1964.
It’s quite an ‘agricultural’ scooter. The design hardly changed from the 1940s to the 1960s. In nostalgic terms, that certainly provides a lot of charm.
But it’s easy to see why Lambrettas and Vespas displaced the hold of American-built scooters when they were eventually imported into the USA and allowed to compete.
The engine is quite loud, the ride a little bumpy and, like most old American scooters, they were only fitted with one brake. This is all part of that Cushman charm.
CUSHMAN MOTOR WORKS
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Cushman Motor Works was started by Everette and Clinton Cushman in 1902, and they ran the company until 1922. Scooters were manufactured as a way to showcase Cushman engines, and the first model, in 1936, was the Autoglide. The company supplied the military
with scooters during WW2.
America did not suffer the same postwar deprivations as the rest of the world. The forties and fifties were buoyant for vehicle production and public consumption. Scooters were an ideal local transport option for teenagers. The photo below is from 1946.
Scooter production ended in 1966, though the company continued making three-wheelers, golf-carts and trucksters. The 1967 police ‘Patrol Truckster’ is illustrated below. Cushman was eventually purchased by Ransomes of Ipswich, UK, an ironic fate for a company that
was once as American as Mom’s apple pie.
Image courtesy BuyVintage.com