Dennis Pittsenbarger, host of the new Discovery show “Sticker Shock,” talks to Ferndale resident Chris Beltz about his restored 1919 Briggs & Stratton Flyer during a filming of the show in late February in Los Angeles.

Dennis Pittsenbarger, host of the new Discovery show “Sticker Shock,” talks to Ferndale resident Chris Beltz about his restored 1919 Briggs & Stratton Flyer during a filming of the show in late February in Los Angeles.

Photo provided by the Discovery Channel


Behind the Wheel: Flyer to be featured on Discovery’s ‘Sticker Shock’

By: Jennifer Sigouin | C&G Newspapers | Published June 27, 2018

 Beltz, center, poses with his cousin, Kevin Beltz, and Kevin’s wife, Ilana Beltz, who live in the Los Angeles area, during filming for “Sticker Shock” in late February. Chris’ and Kevin’s great-uncle previously owned the Flyer, and this was the first time that Kevin got to see the car.

Beltz, center, poses with his cousin, Kevin Beltz, and Kevin’s wife, Ilana Beltz, who live in the Los Angeles area, during filming for “Sticker Shock” in late February. Chris’ and Kevin’s great-uncle previously owned the Flyer, and this was the first time that Kevin got to see the car.

Photo provided by the Discovery Channel

FERNDALE — Last year, Ferndale resident Chris Beltz shared the history of his 1919 Briggs & Stratton Flyer with our readers as part of C & G Newspapers’ Behind the Wheel series, and now the story of his car is about to reach an even bigger audience on national TV.

Beltz and his Flyer are scheduled to appear on an upcoming episode of “Sticker Shock,” a new series on the Discovery Channel. After the Behind the Wheel article about his Flyer circulated among car clubs, Beltz said, he was encouraged to apply for the show, which offers appraisals of interesting vehicles. 

“I responded with a copy of the article, pictures, and description of my family history with the vehicle,” said Beltz. “The very next day, the producers called to interview me.”

Beltz moved through the casting process, and his Flyer was ultimately chosen as one of approximately 70 vehicles to be featured on the show’s first season. 

“We looked across the country for unique cars with compelling stories,” Discovery Executive Producer Kyle Wheeler said in an email. “The owners are important as well, but we’re all about the cars. We definitely saw some of the same cars over and over, but Chris’ car was totally unique and a fun appraisal for our team.” 

Beltz bought the Flyer a few years ago from his great-uncle’s estate. The small-scale vehicle is equipped with a one-cylinder, two-horsepower engine attached to a Motor Wheel, which makes the car drive. Unlike traditional cars, the Flyer doesn’t have a windshield, suspension or bodywork, and it weighs in at a mere 135 pounds. Its top speed is 25 mph, and it can go 80 to 90 miles on one gallon of gas. 

In late February, Beltz and his Flyer traveled to California for filming, which fittingly took place at an old Firestone warehouse in Los Angeles. 

“It was unscripted, and we didn’t get to meet the appraisers until they walked on set while filming,” Beltz explained. “It wasn’t staged at all.” According to Beltz, one of the show’s appraisers, Nick Smith, referred to the Flyer as a “bucket list” car that he had hoped to be able to drive someday. During Smith’s appraisal, Beltz also gained some additional insight into the Flyer’s history. 

“I learned a bit more about the origins of the Motor Wheel being invented by Arthur William Wall, of England, originally before the U.S. obtained manufacturing rights,” he said. “I was also surprised and pleased to learn how uncommon the vehicle is, with few being in running condition.”

Beltz added that he enjoyed meeting the other car owners, and he’s stayed in touch with some of them since the filming. 

“The entire experience was terrific,” said Beltz. “I learned a lot about the other vehicles, owners, and history of a huge range of cars that (were) unusual to see assembled all in one place.”

As for the Flyer’s appraised value, you’ll have to see for yourself on the show. “Sticker Shock” airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on the Discovery Channel, and Beltz’s episode is scheduled for July 11. For more information, visit www.discovery.com/tv-shows/sticker-shock.


SHARE YOUR STORY 
Do you own a vehicle that has an interesting history? Contact Staff Writer Jennifer Sigouin at jsigouin@candgnews.com, and you could be featured in an upcoming edition of Behind the Wheel.