We had continuously updated the Happy Wanderer. Again we used suggestions and help from our customers. It changed considerably, and we decided to change the name when we went from 2 motors friction driving back wheel to a trans-axle drive. Lot of power now, but you had to shift. It was simple to push down a click to First, next click was Second, continue clicking to Fifth gear, which was top speed, 14mph. Reverse was a pull-up click from Neutral. Very easy to do and the trans-axle made it able to climb steepest hill in San Francisco fully loaded with two people and over 200Lbs of weight in the rear basket. It was remarkable what that thing could climb. Our test ramp was so steep we had to nail two rows of coarse, expanded metal on it so the wheels did not slip. The fellows loved testing the new vehicles. We had added width to our frame, enlarged the stainless steel floor panel and filled the dreams of many a person who wanted to drive a loved one or friend somewhere. Even the large dogs climbed aboard. The single seat Independence was still our best seller, but the Twosome fit the needs of couples and many men no longer able to drive a car. The vehicles attracted newspaper photographers and some freebie press releases. But a lot of marketing money is required to make the public aware. Advertising is so expensive nationwide. We applied for Medicare approval of the vehicles and were granted it, however, being an outdoor vehicle, they made it very difficult for the customer to get it paid for. By now there were quite a number of smaller electric three wheelers being made that claimed they were indoor scooters so they could easily get Medicare payment. Having done a number of shows, we learned from the horses mouth that the smaller vehicles were used 75% of the time outside the house. Very few were truly indoor vehicles. So then, as now, Medicare is our competition.
We had contacted local politicians our national representatives, but they were too busy to pay attention to a small company. Because there was a large demand for scooters, US manufacturers had them made in, where else but, China. They were imported in and sold with Medicare paying the majority of the bill. Our taxpayer dollars, giving our jobs away and not paying for an original scooter that is made by Americans. Our benches came from a Florida Company, our motors were from Ohio, all parts came from this county and they were quality parts. As time went by, with our government hard at work, we began to lose our suppliers; they too were competing with imports.
It might be best for me to drop this subject. Some think I’m too harsh on those supposed be representing us.
The single seat Independence and the two seat Twosome inched their way into the hearts of people who need safe outdoor transportation and liked the idea that we carried parts for every item we made since starting the business. It might not be the same part but a replacement that works.