Three wheeler kit cars have been a popular part of the self build culture since the very early days, with highly respected marques such as Morgan producing models even before the second world war.
In fact, this pre-war nostalgia seems to be one of the reasons that the traditional styled three wheeler has lasted so long. Invoking memories of chugging along country lanes in little more than a bathtub on wheels, these little cars simply ooze charm and take you back to a long lost era.
But enough reminiscing, what are they like to build and more importantly, what are they like to drive?
Well, for the most part, their simplicity of design and light weight makes them very easy to assemble. I’ve seen owners lift the rear of the trike completely clear of the ground and turn the car to face the other direction! This maneuverability makes assembly relatively straightforward, without the need for any heavy lifting gear.
So it comes as no surprise that most of them are put together in a domestic garage using little more than hand tools. The body is often a very simple tub design, with many models avoiding the need for a door mechanism by simply dropping the side of the body a little to assist entry and exit.
There are a number of engine options available, from the tried and trusted Citroen 2CV based kits up to the more sporty Moto Guzzi and Honda CX motorcycle engines providing the power. Three wheelers are the true original motorcycle powered kit cars!
So what are they like on the road? Well, ask any owner and you may be a little surprised at their answer. Due to the light weight and low centre of gravity, they are often quite nippy and agile. Don’t get me wrong, they wouldn’t blast past a suitably powered Lotus Seven clone in a straight race, but the regular Sunday driver will be suitably impressed with the progress they make on a typical weekend rally.
This is really where these little cars fit into the grand scheme of things. If you like to throw a few clothes into a bag and take off for a weekend of fun with like minded friends then you will definitely enjoy the feeling of camaraderie that building and owning a traditional vehicle like these will bring.