Vintage bikes can be downright quirky. Salsbury is a brand that got it start in the 1930s, offering cheap transportation following for post-Depression Americans, and this is a mint example of a 1947 Model 85 for sale on Bring a Trailer.
E. Foster Salsbury started his brand with the Salsbury Aero Model Motor Glide in 1936—only about two dozen were ever made. Amelia Earhart was apparently involved, serving as one of the inspirations for Salsbury.
The model we have here is the Model 85, a 1947 year model to be exact. Juding by the looks of it, it's in mint condition, and features a very forward-thinking design that shares some features with early Vespas. The step-through frame doesn't require the user to "swing a leg over" much like women's bicycle frames that were manufactured and sold at the time.
On the mechanical side of things, it comes with a CVT, but it's not of the continuous variety. Salsbury's "CVT" is actually an abbreviation for constant velocity transmission, not continuously variable transmission like most modern CVTs. The engine is also centrally-located and it even has a trunk for convenience. Unlike most modern motorcycles, this features a foot-mounted throttle and brake—very similar to a car. The thinking was that the foot controls wold be easier for customers with automobiles to acclimate to two-wheeled transport with this control scheme. The 320cc fan-cooled, side valve motor made six horsepower, and it had a top speed of about 50 miles per hour.
Rarity also plays a part in the Model 85's charm. The scooter was only produced between 1947 to 1950 with less than 1000 units made. Back in the day, the Model 85 retailed for $800 USD. Adjusting for inflation, a brand new Salsbury Model 85 would be in the ballpark of $9,500, so the current bid at the time of this article's writing of $8,000 seems quite reasonable.
The bid ends on Friday, May 28, about 5 days from now. The bike is listed on Bring a Trailer, and the listing notes that an oil change and spark plug replacement have already been conducted according to the seller. Perhaps the only con in this deal is that the bike has been painted over which means that the scooter's chassis number is unreadable. History buffs that are scooter aficionados might prefer the chassis code to be intact, but nonetheless it's a very quirky scoot and something you don't see everyday.