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The Motorette Automobile & C. W. Kelsey Mfg. Co.

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C. W. Kelsey Mfg. Co.
Hartford, CT

The Kelsey Motorette was a small self propelled vehicle in a class between the American Automobile and the motorcycle. The design in the early 1900s combine the low cost and light weight of the latter with the comfort and road ability of the larger motor car.

The first Motorette was built in France in 1898 by Leon Bolle.

1911 Kelsey Motorette Advertisement
1911 Kelsey Motorette Advertisement

The Kelsey Motorette was produced in limited numbers. Designed and manufactured by automobile pioneer C. W. Kelsey. Kelsey developed a stabilizer or anti-sway bar which made the Motorette flexible and less likely to turn over. The factory price of the two passenger 1911 Motorette was $385.00. A four wheel delivery car was priced somewhat higher and a third model, a rickshaw, was added and exported to Japan.

1911 Kelsey Motorette
1911 Kelsey Motorette

Features included a two cylinder opposed gasoline engine with a bore and stroke of 3 1/2 inches developed 10 horsepower. Mounted directly on the motor shaft was a two speed with reverse planetary transmission. The final drive was direct by a roller chain from the transmission to the rear wheel. The maximum speed of the Motorette was about 30 miles per hour.

Three Wheel Kelsey Motorette
Three Wheel Kelsey Motorette

Other features included room for two passenger side by side, oil lamps, tiller steering gear, side lever control and a gasoline supply of six gallons held in circular tank behind the seat. When first introduced in 1910 the C. W. Kelsey Mfg. Co. plan to produce 10,000 Kelsey Motorette's during the first year of production. C. W. Kelsey also built another American Automobile in the 1920s called the Kelsey and the Auto-Tri in 1899..

1910 Motorette
View of Motorette From Rear

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