Even in an automotive world that runs the gambit from minivans and one-box microcars to gas-guzzling SUV's and Mclarens, the three wheeled car is an anomoly. An oddity that flies in the face of what makes a car,
occupying the niche between a motorcycle and auto. This was, of course, not always the case. In fact many 3-wheelers figure prominently in the history of the "horseless carriage".
One such vehicle was reputedly the earliest patented
automobile design, by one Karl Benz. The Benz featured a motor and chassis that comprised a unit, with drive to
the two back wheels. Steering was via a tiller which came up from the floor, between the driver's legs.It did about 9mph! Hardly impressive today, but the vehicle was one of the very first of it's kind.
Another 3-wheeler that held great prestige in the car world was the Morgan. Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan built his first production car in 1911, a two seater
roadster with 3 wheels ( two in front, one in back ) and
drive to the rear wheel. One such car, built in 1930, held the record at the Brooklands circuit in England for the fastest lap and featured a special aerodynamic body.
It was said to have reached 116 mph.
This special issue of Rare Component Cars is devoted to trikes that made an impact in the kit car world. Although this is the US Edition, I'll be covering some kits from the UK as well as US. While certainly rare even among
kitcars, such cars have found a consistent niche in the
market. In the 70's and 80's a variety of 3-wheelers were available.