A two-wheeled motor-scooter that was popular in the post-World War Two era is making a comeback in Iowa — but just for the weekend. Vern Ratcliff of Webster City had a Doodle Bug when he was 14, and now at age 70, he has two, but doesn’t hop on very often. He says he gets more enjoyment out of watching his grandkids putt around on the little machines. Ratcliff says the 1940s version of the modern moped has Iowa roots. About 40-thousand Doodle Bugs were made in Webster City in the mid-to-late 1940s, and a few were made in Des Moines for a short time. All had one-and-a-half horsepower engines, cruised at 25-miles an hour and came in one color: red. Ratcliff’s organized this weekend’s Doodle Bug reunion in Webster City with responses from as far away as California and New York. He says the price on the gas-powered scooters has risen exponentially over the decades.The scooters originally sold for 69-95 but Ratcliff says a working one in good shape may now bring three-thousand dollars. The reunion is today (Friday) and Saturday. For details, call Ratcliff at (515) 832-5727.
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