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October 31, 2020

It’s a Car! It’s a Motorcycle! it’s Bi-Autogo!

A 3,200-lb. motorcycle with training wheels, a V8 engine and enough copper tubing to provide every hillbilly in the Ozarks with a still, the Scripps-Booth Bi-Autogo was the daft experiment of James Scripps-Booth, an heir of the Scripps publishing fortune and a self-taught — or untaught — auto engineer.

The Bi-Autogo was essentially a two-wheeled vehicle, carrying its considerable heft on 37-in. wooden wheels. At slow speeds, the driver could lower small wheels on outriggers to stabilize the vehicle so it wouldn’t plop over. This is not a case of the advantage of hindsight; this was obviously a crazy idea, even in 1913. The Bi-Autogo does enjoy the historical distinction of being the first V8-powered vehicle ever built in Detroit, so you could argue it is the beginning of an even greater folly.

Just one was built. It is in the collection of the Detroit Historical Society. The Bi-Autogo was restored in 2017 by Mobsteel in Detroit.

(Photos: Detroit Public Library)


  1. "enough copper tubing to provide every hillbilly in the Ozarks with a still.."

    w the actual f?

  2. Just watched the rebuild by Mobsteel on the History Channel show DETROIT STEEL.
    AMAZING Company AMAZING people




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