1913 Scripps Booth Bi-Autogo



Seating for three and powered by Detroit’s first V8 engine, the Bi-Autogo is a vehicle that has slipped through the cracks of history books.  Designed and built by James Scripps Booth, beginning at the age of 20, the Bi-Autogo was intended to be produced as an exclusive sports car for a select clientele. Despite its relative anonymity, the Bi-Autogo introduced many features to the automotive industry; including, the disappearing armrest and push button horn. Two pairs of landing wheels were used to maintain balance when motionless or traveling at less than 25 mph. While the engine and drive mechanism worked perfectly, the steering was problematic, and could not be remedied.  Specifications: 45 hp, 332 ci, V-8 engine. Production cost $25,000. Wheelbase: 140 inches, weight:3200 pounds. The starter was pneumatic as in marine engines, see red inlets on cylinders; or hand crank start. The Bi-Autogo won the blue ribbon as the most popular car in the Automotive Golden Jubilee Antique Car Show in 1946, 33 years after production.


Designed and built by Detroit artist & engineer James Scripps Booth, it had the usual two wheels, spooked wooden ones), plus two pairs of smaller, retractable outrigger wheels (an idea that has resurfaced since) in the three-seater body.  It had a 45 hp V8 engine, the first of its kind from a Detroit company, with an external copper tube radiator, and a weight of 3,200-lb.  Just one was built. It is on display at the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, Maine.


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Tags: three wheeler, 3 wheeler


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