Throwback Thursday: Remember When Briggs & Stratton Made A Car?
I was recently in the rabbit hole known as YouTube and was enjoying some of the more recent episodes of Jay Leno's Garage and in one of the latest ones it highlighted a car I never ever knew existed. A Briggs & Stratton Hybrid. Yes that Briggs & Stratton, the one we are all familiar with when we look at our lawn mowers or snow blowers. At the time of it's creation America was in a gas crunch, and alternatives were being sought. Briggs & Stratton decided to give it a go, and they created a 6-wheeled hatchback. Check it out!
According to How Stuff Works, the car was a dual-drive hatchback with the ability to use either the gas engine or electric engine or both in tandem with the turn of a knob. The gas engine was a "small 18-horsepower air-cooled twin" that was newly created. The Briggs & Stratton Hybrid concept car at the time cost around $250,000 to develop which was similar to what it cost other manufacturers to create hybrid concept cars at the time.
The 6-wheels made it unique but they served a purpose as "only the forward pair of rear wheels was driven; the ones behind were a "trailer" for almost 1,000 pounds of batteries, located just below a shallow luggage hold." The 12 batteries powered a small eight-horsepower electric motor.
The entire body of the car was made from fiberglass as a way to make it fire retardant. The only available in yellow hatchback wasn't fast either, as the top speed was only 50 mph in either individual engine mode or if you were in Hybrid Mode using both engines you'd hit 68 mph.
The retail price at the time that I found online might not be correct but it was going to be sold for about $3,000.
You can watch the full episode of Jay Leno's Garage that features the Briggs & Stratton Hybrid below.