|Formerly||Briggs & Stratton Flyer, Smith Flyer|
|Headquarters||North Bergen, New Jersey,|
The Red Bug, later marketed as the Auto Red Bug were a vintage era cyclecar automobile manufactured by the Automotive Electric Service Corp. of North Bergen, New Jersey from 1924 to 1930. It is considered an early version of a microcar.
A. O. Smith developed the Smith Flyer with a fifth wheel, called the Smith Motor Wheel, driven by a gas engine. Manufactured in Lafayette, Indiana, by the American Motor Vehicle Company, from 1916 to 1919, A. O. Smith sold the rights to Briggs & Stratton who marketed the cyclecar as The Briggs & Stratton Flyer.
Briggs & Stratton sold the rights to the Flyer and Briggs & Stratton Motor Wheel to Automotive Electric Service Corp. in 1924 who continued to build it as the Red Bug. When the supply of gasoline engines ran low, a 12 volt electric version was produced. The electric version was built with four wheels, with one rear wheel driven by a Northeast electric motor, the same motor used for starting on contemporary Dodge Brothers automobiles.
Red Bugs and Auto Red Bugs were sold by Abercrombie & Fitch and others in the United States, as well as the United Kingdom and France. Priced at $150 (equivalent to $2,561 in 2022) from 1924, the small automobiles sold mostly as a novelty for the wealthy, but also for transportation within resorts and at amusement parks.
- History of the Red Bug Car
- Jekyll Island History - Red Bug
- Silodrome.com Auto Red Bug article
- Auto Red Bug at Heritage Museum and Gardens
- 1924 Red Bug sold at Sotheby's Auction
- Unusual 1924 Red Bug at the Lane Museum