1950’s Lusse Bumper Car Restoration
It’s hard to imagine that there is anyone alive that hasn’t ridden a bumper car at one time or another. Still one of the most popular rides at amusement parks today, bumper cars date back to 1920, when the first bumper car ride was invented by Max and Harold Stoehrer of Methuen, Massachusetts. Their invention was called the Dodgem. These rides that allowed people to bump into each other were so popular that others decided to get in on the action, and profits. Two cousins, Joseph and Robert Lusse of Philadelphia owned a machine shop that supplied rollercoaster parts to Philadelphia Toboggan (now the oldest rollercoaster manufacturing company still in business in the world). In 1922 the Lusses filed their first patent for a bumper car. Over the years, they filed a total of 9 patents for bumper cars, or as they called them, Lusse Skooters.
“Bumper car” is a term referring to an electric-powered ride that has a rubber surround, allowing the riders to crash into each other. The cars sit on a metal floor and have a pole on them, allowing the cars to draw electricity from a grid on the ceiling of the ride. Each car has a wheel for steering and an accelerator pedal to get it moving.
This Lusse Brothers Skooter is from the early 1950’s. We restored a total of 3 bumper cars over the years, including the stripping, repair work and painting of the cars. For more pictures of the finished Lusse, visit the RetroPlanet.com Museum.
Lusse Brothers Inc.
2809 North Fairhill Street
This item is not for sale. We show restored items in this blog to encourage discussion, prompt questions and further the hobby.