The Briggs & Stratton Flyer (a.k.a. Red Bug) was a four-wheeled motorized vehicle (comparable to a go-kart) produced between 1919 and 1923. The Briggs & Stratton Flyer was a small, simple, lightweight, two-seat vehicle with a wooden frame that doubled as the suspension. A small gasoline engine was mounted on a fifth wheel, or motor wheel, to drive the Flyer.
The Flyer is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most inexpensive car of all time, selling new in 1922 for $150.
Despite it’s diminutive size, the Briggs and Stratton Flyer was not sold as a toy, but an alternative to expensive cars of the time.
The low cost helped fuel the early interest in exhibitions and club racing. In their own way, owners of Briggs & Stratton Flyers are some of motorsports earliest enthusiasts.
When manufacturing stopped, Briggs & Stratton kept the ‘motor wheel’ that had been the heart of the Flyer and adapted it to other applications such as lawn mowers. That motor is the grandfather of all Briggs & Stratton motors which followed, including the Raptor, Animal and LO206 dominating today’s karting and junior dragster competitions.
Briggs & Straton: More than 100 years of engine innovation.