Whos's Who

Timeline of Events

at Litestar Pulse Autocycle


1981

April 1981

Jim Bede.............Autocycle designer

Doug Walsh..............Employee of Jim Bede in Mundelien, IL and Cleveland, OH.

Doug helped build the Bede "Fan Car" and then he built the Bede "Village Vehicle". This project was a small light weight vehicle driven by a two cylinder 18hp air-cooled engine with a snowmobile torque converter. The inexpensive automobile was supposed to be marketed in third world countries, but it never got past the prototype stage.

Doug constructed the BD-200 which has the single headlight. It was originally white, then painted yellow.

Doug built a plaster mold from which he and Don Rudny built the '1983 Chicago Auto Show car' which has the twin headlights.

Doug performed much of the initial testing on the autocycles.

Stan Leitner...............Stan was a salesman's Salesman. He had previously been vice-president of a Boston based waste management firm, SCS Services in the early 1970's. Their 1982 sales topped $270 million with 102 operating units.

Stan was a consultant and had success as an investor in diet drinks.

Stan had seen a newspaper article about Jim Bede and his BD-200 and decided to investigate the possiblity of investing in the project.


1981 - 1985

Jim Bede and Stan Leitner formed Tomorrow Corporation - St. Louis, MO....April 1981

Stan invests $25,000 for the exclusive manufacturing and marketing rights. He held a 33% stake in the company and named the autocycle, the Litestar.

Jim Bede and Stan Leitner take BD-200 to Daytona Beach, FL for Bike Week and to sell the Autocycle Plans packet.....April 1982

Doug Walsh met Jim and Stan at Bike Week to help promote the BD-200.

In the Year 2000 brochure was handed out at bike week.

Jim Bede in his BD-200

75mpg City and 102mpg Highway

In May 1982, Jim convinced Doug Walsh to uproot my life in Cleveland, OH and move with him to Mundelein, Illinois, near Chicago, where we would continue development of the Autocycle.

In about the summer of 1982, Bede announced that they pre-sold 80 Litestars with a value of $320,000. It is not know if he ever got any deposits from buyers. He surely had gotten money from distributors in his now growing dealer network.

Dick Kleber - Living in Tronadora, Costa Rica In 2021

....I was a consulting engineer to Jim Bede working on this vehicle, in Mundeline, IL and Clinton, Iowa. One problem was that this vehicle had 4 wheels, and hence NHTSA did not want to consider it a motorcycle.

I prepared the argument and presented the case to NHTSA to allow it to be classified as a motorcycle, as part of my work for Bede. Negotiations were in place to manufacture the vehicle in Owosso, Michigan as I left the project.


Tomorrow Corp. Associates

Paul Griffen...........employee of Jim Bede who was a talented BD-5 designer and draftsman on the BD-200 project.

Herb Voremberg Organization...........Consultants and PR firm

Lenny Vines..............Tomorrow Corp. Corporate Attorney

Bobby Griffin......Office

Julie McAllister

Nancy Teel....Tomorrow Corp. V.P. Finance....March 1982

Vonnie.....office

Warren Hinderer.....Graphic designer with the Voremberg Organization (advertising agency) - the Litestar name and logo was developed which "best described the futuristic space age features of the vehicle.

Phil Bass of Bass Jet Industries - Fairhope, AL...........Tomorrow Corp.'s first contact to produce Litestar was in July 1982. This effort failed to gain traction.

Jed Richardson......Responsible for Litestar Owner's Manual, Drawings, and part time shop laborer

Don Rudny......Engineer and Litestar Project Manager

Bruce Emmons....Don Rudney's replacement

Dick Kluber......Engineer

John Kuczat......Works on Steering problems

Irv Foote......Draftsman

Dave Ulicki.......fabrication


1982

Plaster and metal Body Mold made by Doug Walsh and others.......August - October 1982


Texas dealers, Don Rose and Ben Scarborough and Arlon Fowler, were involved in a fair in Dallas and they had gotten phenomenal response to the Chicago Auto Show vehicle in late March 1983.

They dropped it off at Coors in Colorado for a big meeting of Coors distributors. Coors wanted their distributors to consider buying the Litestar for advertising sales and promotional purposes. The Coors art department was going to paint the vehicle and put the Coors logo on the side.

We are looking for this car today. It had the Hondamatic 400cc engine. If you know where it is, please email us at:

steveschmidt at hotmail.com


1983

Scranton Manufacturing.... 1982 - 1984

Scranton Mfg. builds about 15 Litestars - February thru April 1983

David Vaughn of Owosso, MI was a trained engineer and owned Vaungarde which made injection molded products including parts for G.M.

David expressed interest in providing Scranton Mfg. with fiberglass Litestar bodies in October of 1982.

These bodies were actually supplied to David through E.T.M. Enterprizes of Grand Ledge, Michigan.

ETM body converted to 4 Wheel .... Chris Rothfuss

Innsbrook Dealer Meeting - May 1983

A Scranton Litestar in grey primer is at the meeting.

Chicago Dealer Meeting - November 1983


John McLaughlin.....owner of Scranton Manufacturing which produced about 15 Litestars. John also owned Scranton Litestar #1.

Tony Kaighon......Shop laborer....Stan's Son in Law....Stan's eyes in the Wellbuilt Inc. shop at Carroll, Iowa

Bob Watson.....Scranton V.P. Finance

Ron Royer..............Plant Manager - Well Built Inc. of Carroll, Iowa, subsidiary of Scranton Manufacturing, assembled the Litestars

ED Abernathy.....?

Bill Sostaric......Shop

David Schwartz ... D.M.S. America.....early dealer and investor. Dave also appeared at the 1983 Chicago Auto Show and was interviewed.

Testing of Litestar prototypes at Scranton....Doug Walsh and Don Rudney.....May-June 1983

Dick Gregory, comedian and activest, pledged in Sept. 1984 to invest $12 million in the Litestar project, but he never did.

The strain of the Litestar project at Scranton Mfg. on the companies other manufacturing eventually put them out of business.

Don Rose owned Litestar of Texas and is credited with selling 103 Litestar and Pulses from his 3 state distributorship, and at his dealership in Mt. Vernon, TX called Rose Marine.

Kenny Crump......Litestar of Texas Pulse transporter. He made many round trips between Mt. Vernon, TX. and Owosso. He and Don Rose designed their giant trailer - the one that could haul eleven vehicles at a time. He also delivered vehicles to dealers and customers, helped out with some dealer prep in order to get vehicles delivered quickly, and helped in the booth at trade shows.



1984 - 1985

Owosso Motor Car Company .....January 1985 - February 1990

OMCC Factory located at 501 S. Chesnut st. - Owosso, Michigan....January 1985 - July 1986 ......18 months

21 Litestars were built and then renamed the Pulse. Pulse #22 through Pulse #252 built here.


David Vaughn......established the Owosso Motor Car Company....Chairman of the Board.....Stockholder-Investor

Ed Butcher............President of OMCC....Stockholder-Investor

Sue Butcher.......Sales.....Stockholder-Investor.....credited with re-naming the Litestar, the Pulse

H. Skip VanKirk.....V.P. Electrical and Mfg. ......Stockholder-Investor

Jim Fish.......Electrical.........Stockholder-Investor - Jim owned Pulse #50.

Robert Batton...............Stockholder-Investor

Richard Morton..............Stockholder-Investor

Michael J. Lynett.......Secretary

D. Kerry Crenshaw............Corporate Attorney

Dan Marks......Design/Draftsman - Dan owned Pulse #100.

Kathi Root......Office Manager

Andy Kenny.....General Manager

Gary Bendall......Shop Foreman - Gary owned Pulse #85.

Bill Hayes.......Draftsman

Mike Fitzgerald..............Shop

Jim Staley..............Consultant

Ron Castle........Shop

Larry Castle.....Shop

Larry Hayes......Shop

Larry Butcher....Shop...Final Assembly

Rod Riley......Shop....Final Assembly

Sam Diamond.....Welder - Sam owned Pulse #31

Guy Chunko.....Welder

Forest Springs.....Welder

Rick Willis

Randy Willis........Final Assembly

Darwin Veale........Final Assembly

Ken Spacium? .....Painter

Ken Haughton...........Pulse trucking - charged 50 cents per mile. Started hauling Pulses after Pulse #270?

Looking for more OMCC employee names. At one time OMCC employed 50 people.


Litestar Dealer Meeting - February 1985


Litestar Engineering Report.....Chuck Hanson owned Owosso Litestar #2 and drove it from Owosso to Bakersfield, CA and submitted a driving report in Feb. 1985.

Litestar Engineering Report........Richard Kline owned Owosso Litestar #6 - 1985. Richard Kline who owned Landcraft Inc. of Annapolis, MD.

Litestar Engineering Report....Carl Coates who drove his Litestar #21 from Chicago to Corydon, Iowa in the spring of 1985.

Litestar of San Diego - Henry Coppola - Dan Willis.......owned Owosso Litestar #9. Coppola and Willis were early Dealers for Bede and Leitner.


OMCC -- Tomorrow Corp. Split

The Owosso Motor Car Company had an agreement to supply 21 Litestars to the Tomorrow Corp. for a specified amount of under $5,000 each.

They cost nearly $10,000 each to produce, so naturally future autocycles would cost Tomorrow Corp. much more.

OMCC also found out that Tomorrow Corp. did not have any patents or copyright on the autocycle design.

Tomorrow Corp. was unhappy with Owosso Motor Car Co. in about May of 1985 because they changed the name of the Litestar to Pulse. Tomorrow Corp. sued Owosso Motor Car Co. and its officers for several million dollars.

March 19, 1984..........Stan Leitner and Jim Bede travel to Japan and meet with with Fujino Industries.

They agree in principle to the basic terms of a subcontract agreement subject to Fujino's costing of the vehicle. A Scranton built Litestar was sold to them for $11,300.00. Fujino paid $14,000 to have it air freighted to Japan.

Fujino never built any autocycles for Tomorrow Corp. The Litestar that they bought is still in Japan.?

Stan Leitner announced that Tomorrow Corp. had chosen a California group of Litestar dealers, Litestar of San Diego - Vernon Bradley, Henry Coppola and Dale Collier, Dan Willis, to manufacture the Litestar.

It is unknown whether this group ever produced an autocycle themselves or just altered an Owosso Litestar #9 which was owned by Henry Coppola.

Tom Capriola said he bought his Litestar from Dan Willis. It could be a one-off by this group or converted Litestar #19.


Carl Coates, Litestar of Iowa - Corydon, Iowa sends out July 8th, 1985 letter to his dealers that Tomorrow Corp. has severed ties with Owosso Motor Car Co.



1986 - 1991

With the Tomorrow Corp. - OMCC lawsuit pending, all investors bailed.

OMCC filed for bankruptcy in June 1986.

In just 18 months, about 50 employees of the Owosso Motor Car Co. had produced 252 Litestar and Pulse autocycles.

Pulse manufacturing moved to the Butcher Farm on Six Mile Creek Road in Corunna, Michigan in about August of 1986, where they built the last 93 Pulses.

All of these Pulses used the Honda water-cooled engines.

From August of 1986 to January 1990, the Butchers built Pulses one at a time with a crew of 5 or 6 guys and tried to find investors to re-ignite cash flow into the company.

July 1986 - February 1990

Pulse #253 through Pulse #346 built at the Butcher Farm.

Staff List........

Ed Butcher.....President

Sue Butcher....Sales

Guy Chunko.......Shop

Larry Butcher......Shop

Lezlie Butcher......Shop....graphics

Susie Veale......Test Driver

Ken Haughton....trucking

Pulse deliveries and Pulse trailers


The last Pulse was built in Feb. 1990 and on March 16, 1990, the remaining assets of the company, which included machine tools, fixtures a few molds and some part, s were auctioned off. The buyer of the whole lot was Dick Abbott of Vestaburg, MI.



Parts Suppliers to Owosso Motor Car Co.

E.T.M. Enterprizes of Grand Ledge, Michigan.....ships 15 Litestar Bodies to Scranton Mfg.

Nero Plastic of Owosso............Litestar and Pulse Bodies to Owosso Motor Car.Company

January 1985 to April 1986 ..... 218 Litestar and Pulse bodies.

Fowler, Michigan company supplied Pulse body #219 to #346 to OMCC.

H&S Trim of Owosso .....supplied inteiors for the Litestars and Pulses


More OMCC Factory Parts Suppliers Here



Distributors and Dealers


Ed & Sue Butcher...................from Owosso Motor Car Co. ..........................Hard to determine exact number, but at least 100 Pulses.


Litestar of Texas....Rose Marine....Don Rose....Mt. Vernon, Texas......sold 103 Litestar and Pulse vehicles


Tomorrow Corp. - Jim Bede and Stan Leitner ............................St. Louis, MO ...............................Sold 21 Owosso built Litestars


Coleman Aircraft - Old Corp. ..............Northfield, IL...............Sold 19


Don Weekley - Weekley's RV...................Owosso, MI...................Sold 18


Ed & Linda Naples..................Robbinsville, NJ...................Sold 16


A1 Auto Sales - Charles Smith....Port Neches, TX......Sold 6


Astro Pulse Sales - Florida.....................Sold 8


Terry Malone..................San Antonio, TX............................Sold 6


Ed Smith - Futuristic Motors.................Nashville, TN..........Sold 5


Dr. Ault....................Louisiana..........Sold 4


Cedric Cryer..........................Cisco, TX..............Sold 4


Several smaller Pulse dealers sold 1 to 3 Pulses


Hank Wilgus tests the Pulse.
Hank owned two Pulses and sold several.



National Litestar & Pulse Rallys


Owosso Motor Car Co. held a few rallys in the mid to late 1980's.

Don Rose, owner of Litestar of Texas, held a few rallys at the same time.

Reportly including 25 to 50 Litestar and Pulses.


1998


Tom Caprioli of Wisconsin, started to record his adventures with his Litestar after he purchased it in 1998 on an internet webpage. He continued to add his experiences to the website as he drove his vehicle. Several other Pulse owners found his website and Tom soon started an email forum which was hosted by Bill Costa.

The Litestar - Pulse On-Line Newsletter was started by Tom Caprioli in February of 2000.

The 1st. Annual Rally was held in Madison, WI on Saturday September 18, 1999. Mike and Gail Boyson, Bill and Ginny Senter and Tom Caprioli were attendees. Tom drove his Litestar to the rally.


2000


In December of 2000, Steve Schmidt started the Litestar & Pulse Network, Pulse Message Board and VIN Database website.

"I like to hunt for Litestar and Pulse autocycles. It's like detective work, running down leads which sometimes are more of a wild goose chase. Of the approximate 347 vehicles produced, I have documented about 290 in our Registry Webpage in the last 20 years." Schmidt said.

"You're panning for gold and are really surprized when you find a nugget. I track and record the lifespan of each autocycle on the Registry Webpage. Including information from factory records and any owner modifications such as re-powering the vehicle with a different gas engine or converting to electric power. Some owners add features like an aircraft tail, flight instruments or missiles.

Paint and graphics change-up the looks and attitude of the ride too."

Leo & Jan Doyle provide the webspace on their computer servers, which is a great gift.

The Facebook page and the old Message Board gives Pulse owners the ability to discuss repairs and maintenance quickly and has proven to be priceless.

The Litestar Pulse On-Line Website provides a wealth of information for those owners who need assistance in maintaining their vehicles.

The greatest reason for the success is due to the owners who share their knowledge, pictures, literature and related experiences as to purchase, repairs and maintenance of their vehicles.

By combining all known information, a fantastic site which provides answers to the many questions about this amazing vehicle has been developed.

The Annual Rally provides owners the opportunity to meet personally and enhance the friendships developed over the internet, inspect other vehicles and return home to continue modifications on their own vehicles.

We invite you to join us at the next National Rally over Labor Day weekend in Marion, Indiana.


The BD-200 was offered for sale in April of 2000 by Juan Jimenez for Randy Dana, a St. Louis, MO attorney who was selling items that had been in a flood.

Actor Robert McRay purchased it for about $5,000, he made significant modifications to the original design.


The Autocycles.org Registry and history webpage was started by Steve Schmidt in 2000.


The 2nd. Annual Rally was held in Fort Worth, TX at the BD5 Expo, October 28-29, 2000. Bill Senter trailered his restored Pulse down to the event and Tom went along to interview Jim Bede.


In March of 2001, the autocycles.org Litestar and Pulse vehicle registry grew to include 40 vehicles.

Steve & Linda Schmidt and Chuck & Linda Furgason met to discuss holding an autocycle rally in June of 2001 at Owosso, MI. Events would include Pulse owner meetings at the Owosso Community Airport, participation in Owosso's annual Curwood Festival Parade and a visit to the Owosso Motor Car Company plant with Ed Butcher.


The 3rd. Annual Rally was held in Owosso, Michigan on June 9th, 2001. Eight vehicles were on display and 23 members attended.

Hosts: Steve & Linda Schmidt - Chuck & Linda Furgason


Autocycles.org Registry list includes 40 vehicles in January 2002


The BD-200 was offered For Sale on eBay in June of 2001 for $15,000. It sold to a Texas collector for about $10,000.


The 4th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2002 at Marion, Indiana.
Ray & Judy Johnson invite the Litestar Pulse autocycle group to hold their annual rally at Marion, IN airport during Johnson's annual Fly/In Cruise/In.

Hosts: Chuck & Linda Furgason

The 5th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2003 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Chuck & Linda Furgason

The 6th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2004 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Chuck & Linda Furgason

The 7th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2005 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Chuck & Linda Furgason

The 8th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2006 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Chuck & Linda Furgason

The 9th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2007 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Chuck & Linda Furgason

The 10th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2008 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Chuck & Linda Furgason

The 11th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2009 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Chuck & Linda Furgason

The 12th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2010 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Chuck & Linda Furgason

The 13th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2011 at Marion, Indiana.

Host: Chuck & Linda Furgason

The 14th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2012 at Marion, Indiana.

Host: Chuck & Linda Furgason

The 15th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2013 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Cindy Acker - Jan Doyle - Royce Ann Martin


On September 9th, 2013 Mike Lechlitner created the Litestar/Pulse Owners Group on FACEBOOK. In 2020, the group had 354 members.


The 16th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2014 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Cindy Acker - Jan Doyle - Royce Ann Martin

The 17th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2015 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Cindy Acker - Jan Doyle - Royce Ann Martin

The 18th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2016 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Cindy Acker - Jan Doyle - Royce Ann Martin

The 19th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2017 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Royce Ann & Phil Martin

The 20th. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2018 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Royce Ann & Phil Martin

The 21st. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2019 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Royce Ann & Phil Martin

The 22nd. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2020 at Toledo, Ohio.

Hosts: Royce Ann & Phil Martin

The 23rd. Annual Rally was held on Labor Day weekend 2021 at Marion, Indiana.

Hosts: Royce Ann & Phil Martin


2021


In May of 2021, the group had 400 Facebook members. Of the approximate 347 vehicles produced, the 20 year old Registry Webpage has owner records of about 290.


In June of 2021, Tim Becker shared a post on Facebook that Autocycle Corp. had developed a new electric version of the Bede autocycle. It uses a hub motor and features a smooth outrigger similar to the Jim Bede's BD-200. Autocycle Corp. web page is autocyclecorp.com .

The company is based out of Ft. Pierce, Florida. Jim Bede Jr. owner. Plans are to display the new autocycle at 2021 Oshkosh Air Venture and at the National Litestar Pulse Rally at Marion, IN over Labor Day weekend.


Available Pulse Parts today


Pulse Crazy Owners

Autocycles Anonymous

Who loves the Pulse Autocycle the most ?


Doug Minert.....................Portage, MI...................Doug has owned 18 Pulses over many years and actually made a few too.


Chip Pearce..........................Maylene, AL ............................Chip has owned 9 Pulses


Dave & Margie Derer.............................Florida.................Owned 6 Pulses


Doug Baer....................Dundee, NY .................................Doug has owned 5 Pulses


Chuck & Linda Furgason........................Jackson, MI ......................Owned 4 Pulses


Craig Heavenridge.....................Hartford City, IN .......................Craig owned 4? Pulses


William Kelley.....................Goreville, IL ...........................Bill has owned 4 Pulses


Lorain Reese..........................Austinburg, OH .........................Lorain owned 4 Pulses


Ralph Amos............Muncie, IN..................Ralph has owned 3 Pulses


Ron Cleye.........................Alisco Viejo, CA ..................Ron has owned 3 Pulses


Steve & Linda Schmidt..........................Owosso, MI .......................Steve has owned 3 Pulses


Clay Holland................................Hoover, AL ............................Clay owned 3 Pulses


Several people have owned 2 Pulses


Pulse Conversions

The Owosso Motor Car Co. re-powered several Pulses for owners, replacing the Yamaha 400cc engine with a Honda Goldwing water-cooled 500cc, 1100cc or 1200cc engine.


Several owners have re-powered their Pulse, replacing the factory engine with a Honda Goldwing water-cooled 650cc automatic, 1100cc, 1200cc, 1500 or 1800 engine. Some have used Kawasaki, BMW, Porsche 914, Ninja 45, and several other engine brands.


A few owners have re-powered their Pulse with Electric Vehicle style battery power.

Examples include: Owosso Litestar #09, Pulse #91


A few owners have converted to a trike style 3-wheel vehicle, re-powering their Pulse using VW power or similar.


Several owners have add a tail to their autocycles. Many have converted their factory steering wheel to an aircraft style yoke. A couple of owners converted their steering to the motorcycle handlebars like #189.


Destroyed Pulse List

There has only been one death related to a Pulse accident because the driver ran a stop sign and was hit.

There have been a few accidents in which the Pulse owner was not hurt, such as Pulse #41, #276, and #347.


Pulse Index


Your Host, Steve Schmidt

Last Update: 11-20-20......

This is a personal website and is not affiliated with the designer, manufacturer or any company officials/employees.

Website gets about 550,000 hits per year from nearly every country around the world. The site contains over 350 individuals webpages and nearly 5,000 images.

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