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*Updated* Scouting for Business – An Indian Dispatch-Tow


These days, most three-wheeled motorcycles you see are strictly recreational affairs, but that has not always been the case. In the early part of the twentieth century, the Minneapolis Motorcycle Company’s Michaelson Tri-Car  and the New Era Autocycle Delivery Van were just two of many trikes being built to meet the demands of urban merchants for quick and inexpensive transport in increasingly congested city traffic. In later years, conventional motorcycles with utility sidecars would perform similar duties, but the Indian Scout 101 Dispatch-Tow in our photo today was meant for a more specialized purpose.

It is equipped with disc wheels and a non-factory box, and the tow hitch attached to the front fork identifies it as a service vehicle for either a car dealer or repair shop. You can read about how these units were was used here on The Old Motor. This one, possibly dating from late 1930, is much less common that the more familiar Harley-Davidson Servi-Cars and is one of the earliest types built by Indian. Photo courtesy of Chris Price and the Antique Motorcycle Club of America.

*Update* Reader Robbie Marenzi has replied that the rear wheel appears to be like that used on an Austin Bantam and we agree, take a look here.

6 responses to “*Updated* Scouting for Business – An Indian Dispatch-Tow

  1. This is not a factory Dispatch Tow, nor is it a modified 101 Scout Dispatch Tow from the factory. The three wheeler shown is built on a “short frame” Scout; not a 101 Scout. Indian’s first factory Dispatch Tow was manufactured in 1930, the short frame was discontinued in early 1928 when the 101 model motorcycle was introduced. This is either an early prototype, or a model built by someone other than Indian but using an Indian motorcycle for the conversion. Adding to the confusion, the headlight is a 1930 John Brown!

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