Antique Segue Scooter at SoHum Community Park
John Finney showed off his very rare antique Segue scooter recently at the SoHum Community Park. This rare two-horsepower Segue from 1947, one of just 35 made that year, lacked some of the agility of later models, and took up more space, but had power to spare and was built to last. With an original list price of $28,000, six times the price of a new Ford T-bird, early Segues catered to a very select clientele.
The all tube Uni-vac processor runs Segue’s earliest software, coded on 9,651 IBM punch-cards. The processor keeps the rider upright and directs the horses. Finney makes his own punch-cards from regular card-stock, and sources replacement tubes froma supplier in Russia that still produces computer tubes for military applications.
“When I got this machine”, Finney said, “It had been sitting in a barn for decades. Rodents completely shredded the punch-cards and most of the tubes were missing or broken. I had a devil of a time getting the code for this old machine, and it took three months to cut all of those cards by hand.”
Finney continued, “Now that it all cleaned up and fixed, she works as well as the day she rolled out of the factory. Of course I don’t have the stock 600lb lead acid battery, all of those corroded away years ago, but a dozen 6v Trojan golf cart batteries keep all of those tubes hot, and the stabilization and navigation systems running for about 12 hours between charges. That’s almost double the output of the stock battery.”
“Sure, this old Segue is kind of bulky and expensive to carry just one person, just slightly faster than they could ordinarily walk, but I love Segues, especially these old ones.” Finney concluded, “They sure don’t make ’em like this anymore”