Introduction of an outdoor wheelchair that didn’t look like a wheelchair was touch and go. You only need one good hand to run the entire vehicle. Pilot had to have strength enough to steer it, but with a 16″ wheel to turn, it was fairly easy.
Although it looked like an adult three wheeler, it had no pedals. Have a little patience with me; I’m learning to insert pictures. Save me thousands of descriptive words and you, a lot of my babbling. Hooray, another new learn. And no, that’s not me on the HW. That’s Jean, one of the five fabulous secretaries that corrected my errors before JP caught them. By the way, as years passed and products were added, we were approached a few times by well known individuals who for a sum of money offered to pose on our vehicles. It was tempting, but we decided first choice of any photo should be of someone who was truly using the vehicle or in a pinch a family member or employee who so desired to be in the photo shoot. Our customers enhance our vehicles better than anyone. They are the true celebrities. And, yes a few celebrities have owned or are using our vehicles. Enough said.
Remember in previous blog how Sears entrance into the gas kits changed our sales. Well, they didn’t stay in it too long, maybe 2 years, tops. And guess who didn’t have mechanics who knew how to fix these customer’s engines if they had problems. So we got the residue of Sears’ brief affair with gas add-on kits. It helped us sell off much of the large parts inventory we had purchased to aid our customers. Those most wear-out-able parts, the drive rollers, were sold in lots of 10 or 20 at a time. I heard their price became very high once they left our stock bin.
Meanwhile, our Happy Wanderer was so unique, the press releases went out again. The pictures were better as were my descriptions. I had gone all around the barn to get in the front door JP had opened with all specifications. I am such a slow learner.
We also started doing more trade shows. A mix of one disabled show, then off to another bike show. Change of venue began to take its toll. One year we did eleven trade shows. The people responded well to an outdoor wheelchair. It was like a prototype of what we now sell. It just did not resemble a wheelchair. It also could climb significant grades and moved 15 mph.