Briggs & Stratton is best known for making lawnmower engines, but the company has experimented with cars. One of those cars was recently featured on “Jay Leno’s Garage.”
Decades ago, Briggs & Stratton built a one-off, six-wheeled hybrid. Work on the car began in 1978 and was completed in 1980—long before hybrid powertrains became mainstream. But fuel economy was still an important issue in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which is why this car exists. Jay’s guest from Briggs & Stratton, Engineering Technician Craig Claerbout, says the car was built to show that Briggs & Stratton engines could power a car on the highway, they just needed a little help to get there.
The car can be driven using its air-cooled gasoline engine (essentially a lawnmower engine), electric motor, or both, similar to a Toyota Prius and most other modern hybrids.
1980 Briggs & Stratton Hybrid