Dean Moon's Pit Cruiser

Dean Moon's Pit Cruiser
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Dean Moon's Pit Cruiser
 By Dave Brackett

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Dave

I had met Dean Moon, of Moon Equipment Co., in the 1960's, and for some reason we enjoyed each other. He had a subtle wit and was fun to be around, but a bit to serious about work. I always lived within 20 miles of his shop, and often bought parts there. After he bought out Potvin and moved them to his shop, I would stop by to visit Dean, Bill and Fred, when I was in the area.

After I went to work at AEE Choppers in 1969, I was building a chopper and did not like the looks of the stock oil tank. Moon Equipment Co. had made spun aluminum fuel tanks for years, so I went to visit Dean to see if he would make me a small custom oil tank for the chopper. He made me a spun aluminum round tank, about 5 inch diameter, and some mounting brackets. It looked so nice, I asked if he would go into production, he did and AEE started selling them.

Dean was always making odd vehicles, and I have always built different types of vehicles too, so in 1971, when Dean asked me to build him a special vehicle to cruise around the pits at the races, I was thrilled to help. He showed up at my house with an electric three wheeled scooter for disabled people. He unloaded it and said to make something neat and different. His only request was to have a roof canopy to keep the sun off him. 

My first problem was the original wheels were very small. The front drive wheel was 5" dia. and the rear wheels about 7" dia., and all three were about 1 1/2" wide. The original cart came apart for easy transportation, so I kept that idea. The front wheel and motor were built together and attached to the handlebars which contained the controls. I retained this, only chrome plating the handlebars and replacing the front wheel with one 10' dia. and 3" wide. This was great, because it increased the speed, if I went any bigger with the tire, it went to fast. There was only one gear. 

cart 2a

cart 1a

 

The two rear wheels were floaters, so I easily replaced them with 8' rims and 8" wide tires. I built a box to house the batteries and had it louvered, originally the batteries were exposed. I cut up a trailer fender to make two fenders that attached to the battery box.
cart 4a1 cart 3a1

I then fashioned a canopy from I" dia. tubing, it slid into the top of the seat frame. I had that chromed, and the upholsterer redid the seat and added the canopy top, made from Moon Eyes fabric with fringe. The neatest part was the rear of the canopy, which contained a pair fo Moon Eyes. The upholstery was all black, and the body was, of course, Moon yellow.

Dean loved the cart and enjoyed cruising the pits at the local races. The cart came apart and could be put in a car trunk to be moved around. It was fun to see him enjoy one of my creations. Dean and I kept in touch until his untimely passing. I wonder where that cart is now?