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Top 10: British three-wheelers

When it comes to three-wheelers, Britain has been a world leader over the years. Some of the most iconic models sold in big numbers during their heyday, when former motorcyclists without car licences could legally swap two wheels for three once they needed family-friendly transport.

There’s quite a following for three-wheelers nowadays too, with values of the most popular classic models shooting up in recent years. So let’s celebrate the British trike, its quirkiness and (on occasions) its sheer brilliance. Oh, and if you want to find more than we’ve got room for here, check out www.3wheelers.com. 

By Paul Guinness, Contributor

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Reliant Supervan III

If it hadn’t been for a BBC sitcom going by the name of Only Fools & Horses, the Regal-derived Reliant Supervan III of 1962-73 would probably have faded into relative obscurity. But once ‘Del Boy’ was seen behind the wheel of the battered yellow example owned by Trotters’ Independent Traders, it was destined to become the biggest three-wheeler in popular culture. That’s why most survivors nowadays have been sprayed yellow and turned into replicas of the TV version – and why values of the best examples have rocketed. Three-wheelers don’t get much more famous than this.

Comments

Richard Shepherd    on 28 June 2020

Triking Sports Cars offering needs looking at too as it has been in operation for over forty years, is the smallest motor manufacturer with its own VIN numbers and has all the angles ironed out, not that it had many in the first place as it was a clean sheet design by a long term vintage Morgan owner / competitor Tony Divey.

Whilst working his trade as an industrial illustrator and designer working with Colin Chapman at Lotus Divey drew up his plans for a modern Morgan replacement for his aging daily transport. He was known to regularly visit customers in the automotive world in Europe in his vintage Morgan. These old Morgans were all of an age by the late seventies remember and a testimony to the original design that the endured so long.

That the design was right first time can be attested to by the instant demand for what had been a one off to suit Divey's purposes. Both Chapman and Mario Andretti took a turn at wheel of the new trike whilst at Hethel, home of the Lotus factory. Andretti was gone so long Tony thought he must have ditched it, eventually returning with a grin a mile wide and congratulating Divey on the results.

Now offering Type 3 and the latest larger Type 4 with spares for the earlier cars mostly still available the Triking is great value and has the advantage that it can be built at home by those of average ability. Recent builder have included the usual array of mechanical whizzes from all walks of life and the odd Scientist, several Doctors, medical and others, Sign writers and Postmen to name but a few.

When you consider that a fully built on the road example can cost around £21 to £25k and kits start at £8k then it definitely needs considering. Residual values are good too and there have been no known needs for upgrades within the warranty period.

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