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Tripcoe Teebirdie & Flagmaster History

              A Brief History of Tripcoe TeeBirdie and Flagmaster

                           Researched by Roderick Wilde with Flagmaster info by Jeff Huber, son of the founder



   The Tripcoe Tee Birdie was built in the 1960s in Austin Texas at 210 Industrial Way by the Tri Powered Corporation. It came in both a gasoline version and an electric version. The gasoline cart came with a 7 hp Kohler engine model 161S. The electric version had a 36 volt system with a 1-1/2 hp GE electric motor. It came in three colors, Jade, Fawn Tan, and Carousel Red. The following is a quote from a sales brochure: "HERES HOW THE TEEBIRDIE CAME INTO BEING: TeeBirdie is the result of a long-time determination by veteran car designer and manufacturer Bill Bales to lay aside all the old concepts and to produce a car new from the ground up and second to none in overall quality. Drawing on years of experience gained in all phases of design, production, and sales, Bales and his team of experts carefully analyzed the shortcomings of the standard golf car, and then set out to eliminate these weaknesses from TeeBirdie.......".Here is a great photo sequence of a Tripcoe Tee Birdie restoration and customization:http://ces-eng.net/TeeBirdie/Tripco_TeeBirdie.html

     Flagmaster was created by Keith Huber in the 60s after the T-Birdie Golf Cart Manufacturing plant in Glava, IL closed. He purchased the parts left and started building them under his Flagmaster name which he had created when he built spring loaded flag holders for the old tractors when they didnt have lights. He began designing a 4-wheel electric golf cart in the early 70s and was the first to come up with a smooth accelerating electric cart which later caused the company to fall mostly due to the failure of several bad electronic controllers from the supplier that caused run-away or fire. Keith Huber became very successful competing with E-Z-GO and Club Car at the time. He opened another manufacturing site in Springfield, IL and invented the Expeditor which was an electric driven chair-style unit for factories. Gold was the typical color of most carts he built. Keith died in 2008. It sure is cool to see that old cart in that good of shape as there are very few left. I probably rode that cart as a child. The FM logo in your other picture was designed by my Mom and was later updated to a more squared off version when he started building in Springfield. A long while after the company fell, one of Keiths Mechanics nicknamed "Pancake" kept going with repair and parts up to about 1980. Since then, I don't know of any source for parts. However, he used standard Kohler engines which are easy to find and or replace. The old Flagmaster manufacturing plant is on route 34, about 3mi west of Galva. Its a group of buildings behind the old farm house on the south side of the Hwy. Note the gold four wheel cart in the upper group, middle right. This is a four wheel FM Flagmaster circa 1977.



                A Brief History of Tripcoe TeeBirdie and Flagmaster

                             Researched by Roderick Wilde with Flagmaster info by Jeff Huber, son of the founder

     

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