Smith Flyer

The “Smith Flyer,” featured as a “Car for Boys and Girls” inĀ Popular MechanicsĀ (Jan. 1917), holds the record as the world’s cheapest automobile. Developed by the A. O. Smith company on the basis of the direct-drive “motor wheel” patented by Arthur William Wall of England, it had a buckboard frame that doubled as the suspension. The engine developed about 1.5HP, and top speed was roughly 20MPH. The entire unit weighed 135lbs. Briggs & Stratton bought the rights in 1919, continuing production until 1925.

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