Small Engine Troubleshooting Problems? Ask a Mechanic Now.
I called my Dad, who used to drive one of these in the Shriner's parade, and he said a company called Crue-Cut made them. Whether that would be the "original" maker or not I couldn't say, but after Googling that name I found a lot of references to them and even one on You-Tube. The following link is somewhat informative.