This is the Fuji Go-Devil scooter, it’s a small folding motorcycle that was designed to fit neatly into a suitcase or the supplied carry bag – making it easy to transport and simple to set up and use when needed.
Folding scooters and motorcycles were nothing when the Fuji Go-Devil was released of course, the concept has existed since at least the 1910s. The most famous is likely the WWII-era Welbike, a folding scooter that was parachuted in behind enemy lines to give troops motorized transport when on the ground.
Fast Facts – The Fuji Go-Devil
- The Fuji Go-Devil was developed by Fuji Heavy Industries out of Japan and sold between 1964 and 1967. The same company would later become famous for their line of AWD cars under the Subaru brand name.
- Weighing in at just 73 lbs (33 kilograms), the Fuji Go-Devil could be folded out ready to ride in two minutes or less.
- Each scooter came with its own carry bag for easy transport, theoretically you could check your Go Devil in as luggage on your flight, and then have motorized transport instantly upon leaving the airport.
- The Go-Devil has a tubular steel frame, a 53cc two-stroke, single-cylinder engine, a centrifugal clutch, front and rear suspension, and a top speed of 24 mph.
Fuji Heavy Industries
Fuji Heavy Industries was officially formed in 1953 when five Japanese companies joined to form one of the country’s largest manufacturers of transportation machinery.
Interestingly, the company can directly trace its roots back to the Nakajima Aircraft Company which was a key supplier of aircraft to the Japanese government during World War II.
The company began selling vehicles under the “Subaru” brandname in 1954 with the release of the Subaru 1500 in Japan. The first car they exported to the United States was the Subaru 360 in 1968, a car that was marketed as being “cheap and ugly.”
The car that would define the future of the brand was released in 1972, it was the Subaru Leone Wagon with its unusual Subaru SAWD system – an acronym for “Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.”
Today of course, Subaru is one of the world’s pre-eminent manufacturers of all-wheel drive cars and it has a long history of motorsport success – particularly in the world of rally.
The Fuji Go-Devil “Suitcase Scooter”
The Fuji Go-Devil was introduced in the mid-1960s as an innovative new folding scooter. The Honda Cub had been released in 1958 and had proven popular in the United States, as it was cheap to buy, cheap to run, and reliable.
Above Video: This short video shows a Fuji Go Devil being removed from a bag, unfolded and assembled, started, and then ridden.
Engineers over at Fuji Heavy Industries developed a folding motorized scooter with a 53cc single-cylinder, two-stroke engine with a centrifugal clutch operating together with a variable ratio pulley.
It’s possible that they were inspired by the Brockhouse Corgi, the civilianized version of the WWII-era folding Welbike scooter, though other folding scooters had been developed over the years.
Whatever their reasoning they developed one of the most well-designed folding scooter designs in history. It has a tubular steel duplex cradle frame with a centrally-mounted engine and transmission.
Unusually for a motorcycle of this type it has swing arm rear suspension and telescopic forks up front, offering a more comfortable ride that the competition.
When new the Fuji Go-Devil sold for $239.50 plus tax in the United States, each came with its own carry bag and a simple instructional manual on how to fold and unfold the bike, and start the engine.
It’s not known exactly how many were made, they only come up for sale relatively rarely and the example pictured here is the most well-preserved Go-Devil we’ve seen in recent memory.
The 1968 Fuji Go-Devil Shown Here
The Fuji Go-Devil you see here is from 1967, the 1968 model year and the last year of production.
Although the listing isn’t clear it does appear that this Go Devil has been preserved in its current condition, it looks new throughout and the protective cardboard is still wrapped around the frame tubes.
The process of folding and unfolding the bike takes an experienced owner approximately two minutes, and the engine is started with a simple pull cord like a lawn mower.
This Go Devil is currently for sale over on Bring A Trailer out of Lake Elsinore in California, if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
Images courtesy of Bring A Trailer
Ben has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with millions of readers around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.