What better way to get kids into scooters at a young age then by zipping around on a motorized baby carriage? While indoctrinating toddlers wasn’t what the Dunkley company had in mind when they debuted their motor pram. I have to admit, I dig the concept. It’s whimsical in a way so many turn-of-the-century machines were. It’s ridiculous. It’s charming. I kind of want one. The Pramotor drive unit was designed to bolt onto the back of any of Dunkley perambulator (stroller).
The Pramotor was powered by a roughly 100cc, single cylinder, 2-stroke engine that produced a whopping 1 hp. That’s right. One horse, one baby carriage. It’s no surprise the idea didn’t really catch on. There probably weren’t too many nannies in 1922 who could keep a small motor and tend to the children. I would also imagine that a screaming 2-stroke engine wouldn’t help to calm a screaming child. It was also pretty expensive, with one model costing nearly as much as a car.
One description we found online described what it was like to ride:
There was only one gear (two-speed gearing appeared a year later), but there was a kick starter and a hand-controlled clutch. Prices ranged from 40 guineas for the Dunkley Model 20 Pramotor outfit, to 135 guineas for the Saloon Pramotor with 26 x 2+ in Palmer Cord motor tyres.
This odd little vehicle, which looked like a five-wheeled Easter Egg, had proper Ackermann steering, mud-guards and running boards, and cost only £24 less than a complete Austin Seven. Or, indeed, as much as a Model T Ford!
I can only imagine that any family that actually had one of these things must have definitely been the talk of the neighborhood for a while. It’s easy to imagine, even today, that tooling the kids around in one of these must have made quite a statement. Something along the lines of “We’re rich, we’re modern, and we’re a little bit lazy.” One contemporary equivalent comes to mind:Retronaut and Unique Cars and Parts]