My post about Devil Dogs of the Air prompted kind words from San Diego aviation historian Mark Carlson. Mark is working on a book about aviation on film, and he started me looking at some other aviation flicks.
One movie Mark mentioned was Dive Bomber (1941). I’ll post more about its airplanes another time, but in one scene I caught a glimpse of something odd in the background as the camera dollied along the flight line. A second look revealed the object as a motor scooter.
I guess I’m scooter-aware because my brother Randy has an old Lambretta that he wants to electrify. Also my family had other scooters when I was a kid, but I never rode one.
John at the U. S. Scooter Museum has identified this model as a Salsbury Moto-Glide, one of the earlier motor scooter brands. (The museum server currently ignores direct page links, so click “Salsbury” in its home page sidebar.) I also recall seeing a flight line scooter in Bombers B-52 (1957), so apparently scooters have been an accepted way to get around airbases.
In case you’re interested, no single frame of the movie showed the whole scooter. To get the above image I Photoshopped bits of three frames together. It’s a fair representation, but don’t try to make much sense of the background!