1919 Reynolds Runabout

1919 Reynolds Runabout

(Now sold)

1921 Reynolds Runabout3

This is a very rare machine. It is missing its engine covers, saddles, and various other parts. But there’s definitely enough of it here to manufacture the missing parts and end up with an extremely desirable machine. I sold it in 2010.

Reynolds_Runabout1 copy

It was in the previous owner’s family for over 40 years, and possesses its registration document.

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Jackson Car Manufacturing Co

Pangbourne, Berkshire

Reynolds Runabout 01

The Jackson Car Manufacturing Co introduced the Reynolds Runabout scooter, in 1919, though production was subsequently taken over by A.W. Wall of Tyseley, Birmingham, the makers of the scooter’s Liberty engine. It remained in production until 1924.

As you can see below, the 269cc engine has separate petrol and oil tanks.

Reynolds_Runabout5

The front forks are Australian-made Flexiforks.

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The gearbox is a two-speed Moss unit, with either chain or belt drive. Two bucket seats were fitted onto a wooden platform above the engine.

Reynolds_Runabout8

It’s a large machine, considerably bigger than the Unibus, for example (which had a similar size engine), and very much larger than the Skootamota. I think it’s actually the largest of the various scooters that came onto the market in this first phase of the motor scooter. Compare it with some of the scooters available at the time in the 1920 buyer’s guide at the bottom of the page.

Reynolds_Runabout7

With a size comparable to a 350cc motorcycle of the day, this created, in my opinion, a considerable sales disadvantage. Because scooters then, like now, were marketed towards folks who didn’t want to get their clothes dirty and who wanted a lighter mount. All its competitors were lightweights. The best-known period picture of a Reynolds, featured above, shows a woman grimacing as she attempts to pull her Reynolds onto its rear stand …with an audience of pedestrians standing by.

Though the company replaced the engine with a more popular JAP unit, this did little to revive sales, and production ended in 1924.

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Reynolds_Runabout2 copy

Reynolds_Runabout15

Reynolds_Runabout4

Reynolds_Runabout13

Reynolds_Runabout12

Reynolds_Runabout9

Reynolds_Runabout10

Reynolds_Runabout11

Reynolds_Runabout14

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GUIDE to SCOOTERS of 1920

guide1

guide2

guide3

guide4

guide5