Ray Lusse

Bumper Cars

QUESTION:  Which one of the following men is considered the creator of the first bumper car?
A). Victor Levand
B). Max Stoehrer
C). Harold Stoehrer
D). Ray Lusse

What kid doesn't love a bumper car?  Okay, we can amend that question a little bit:  what kid at heart doesn't love a bumper car?  They are, of course, part of an American tradition found in amusement parks. You climb into a tiny car and sit very close to the ground.  If you're lucky, your car will have a ring of rubber around it to cushion the blow when you and everyone else in an enclosed area do everything you can to drive into one another at maximum speed (maximum speed generally reaching no higher than four or five miles per hour), trying to give friends and strangers a bit of a jolt before they give the same to you. There's no doubt these are not for everyone, but the people who enjoy them enjoy them a lot!

The American Treasure Tour has had the pleasure to display two bumper cars in our Toy Box for years. A recent acquisition has doubled our inventory of historic bumper cars, effectively inspiring the blog staff to dedicate a few days to telling the story of these strange but fascinating pieces of entertainment. Of course, we do need to let you know that the bumper cars on display here at the Treasure Tour are for looking and appreciating only. If we whet your appetite and make you hunger for immersion into bumper car driving, we encourage you to go to the other side of our building, to Arnold's Family Fun Center.  They have actual cars there you can ride and, of course, use to drive into your friends in a safe and happy environment! So climb on in and let's get ready for the ride.

ANSWER:  A), B), or C). This was kind of a trick question, since Levand and the Stoehrers are all given that honor by different people.  Ray Lusse is considered the man who perfected the technology, and in fact was sued by the Stoehrers for his designs.