Auto Red Bug

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Automotive Electric Service Corp.
Automotive Standards, Inc.
FormerlyBriggs & Stratton Flyer, Smith Flyer
Founded1924; 99 years ago (1924)
Defunct1930; 93 years ago (1930)
HeadquartersNorth Bergen, New Jersey,
Exhibit at Jekyll Island Museum

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.[1]


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.[2]

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.[2][1]

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.[2]

In 1930 there were reports that Indian Motorcycle Company would take over production of the Red Bug, but this did not occur since Indian itself was acquired by the duPonts.[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Georgano, Nick (2001). The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile (3 vol. ed.). Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. ISBN 1-57958-293-1.
  2. ^ a b c d Kimes, Beverly Rae; Clark Jr., Henry Austin (1996). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942 (3rd ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 978-0-87341-428-9.