while not a car the VW trikes still have their heart in the same spirit as they too use the VW donor.
I have owned and worked on other VW based trikes and this one just kind of happened,
I had a PT Cruiser I didn’t need and the owner of the trike needed a car for his wife,
So we swapped, it was located up near Jacksonville in beautiful Bryceville Fl,
On the way back home to Orlando Tina and I stopped off to see my dad who enjoyed our new toy.
We went the back way home with the stock 1600 VW engine burping and stuttering from poor timing and carb adjustments, the irony was the China import ignition switch gave out as we coasted into our driveway.
I need to get in there and see if the wiring is as big a mess as I fear.
IndyCycle, SportCycle, Trike | Mon, 09 Feb 2009 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
As promised, here is Jeff’s other reverse trike, an IndyCycle, now sold as the SportCycle, originally designed by Jim Musser, and built from plans by enthusiasts like Jeff (although Jeff has deviated a little by installing a Porsche 911 steering rack). He’s got two Wilwood brake master cylinders with a balance bar to adjust front-to-back pressure and one clutch master cylinder, custom Sportcycle wheel spindles, Wilwood aluminum wheel hubs with drilled and slotted rotors with four-piston calipers up front, 16×7 front rims with 205/40 ZR16 tires at the front and a 5.5×17 bike rim with a 205/50 ZR17 car tire at the rear. He’s got a Wilwood quick-release steering wheel, a Kerkie racing seat, Simpson five point seatbeat, and a bike speedo that goes up to 185 mph. The bike powering it is a 1992 Suzuki GSXR 1100 with about 150 HP. Jeff says it handles great and has tons of power.
Trike, Turbo Phantom | Sun, 08 Feb 2009 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
Jeff has a pair of great looking reverse trikes (I’ll post his Indycycle soon), and few vehicles I’ve posted here are as rare and special as his Phantom Vehicle Company Turbo Phantom. This is definitely a kit I’d never expected to see in the wild!
The Turbo Phantom was unveiled at the 1978 LA auto show, and then produced in the early 80s, although no more than three were made due to their high cost. The designers were Ron and Lee Will, Ron working at the time at GM as one of the designers of the Corvette (he tested the Phantom in the GM wind tunnel) — after working on the Phantom he joined the staff of Subaru where he was the main force behind the Subaru Outback. This very wide (around seven feet) trike was powered by a Honda Goldwing, had VW front suspension and MG steering, and had a 0-60 time of about 6 seconds, a top speed as high as 140 mph, and turned at 0.82g. The body was built using a urethane foam and fibreglass sandwhich (like the RQ Riley designs such as the Tri-Magnum) and had an integrated steel roll cage. When the canopy opened, the steering column and dashboard lifted along with it.
Anyway, as I said, at most three of these were made — more likely just two — and one of those was destroyed doing high speed testing on the salt flats. When Ron Will died a few years ago, his estate sold the molds for the body to a fiberglass shop, which produced two bodies. One ended up in Virginia (sold at the time for $3,000) and the shop kept the other one — Jeff picked up the Virginia one for $1,000.
He’s designed his own frame using Pontiac Fiero spindles, custom A-arms, coil-over shocks from a 2007 Suzuki GSXR 1000, a modified Porsche 911 steering rack, and a driveline from a 1989 1500cc Honda Goldwing with reverse. It’s not finished yet, but when he’s done with it, it’ll have heat and air conditioning, a rear back-up camera, a safety glass windshield with wiper, and other goodies. I’m dying to see where this amazing project goes. The last photo is of one of the prototypes, and the rest of the pictures are of Jeff’s Turbo Phantom body and chassis.
eBay, Electric, For Sale, Trike | Mon, 26 Jan 2009 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
There’s an interesting DIY trike project up for sale on eBay right now (just about to end; #190281499267) in Sanford, Florida.
It’s described as 80% complete, and is powered by a 36x12V Sevcon PowerPak mated to an 84 volt D&D Sepex electric motor, with a 10 HP Carroll Motor Company diesel motor for hybrid running — the two engines are connected by a chain drive. It needs a new fuel pump and a linkage between the gas pedal and electric speed regulator, but other than that the driveline is complete. It’s got independent air suspension all around, and has an adjustable ride that sites between two and seven inches off the ground. The builder estimates that the car should get 216mpg, and it’s been tested at 35mph with an estimated top speed of 70mph.
Build diaries are online at www.tshtrikes.com.
Tri-Magnum, Trike | Thu, 01 Jan 2009 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
Richard’s been working on this Tri-Magnum — one of the best looking trike designs out there — for a while now, built around a Kawasaki LTD 1000J rear and a VW Beetle front end. Reverse is handled by a 2000 lb winch with 4″ rubber tires mounted on the drum — the winch is lowered to the tire using a linear actuator with 200 pounds of force. He’s hoping to have it on the road by summer 2009 — an impressive feat given that the work’s been done in a tent! “After a good amount of bondo and sanding it will make a good daily driver,” he says.
For more information on the Tri-Magnum (or to get your own plans and build one), visit R.Q. Riley — they have lots of great designs available in addition to this one.
Invader GT, Mantis Aegean, Trike, Trivette | Thu, 04 Dec 2008 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
A while back I posted about a car that I ID’d as an Invader, even though the Craigslist seller was identifying it as a “Mantis”, a car I’d never heard of. Extremely lucky bastard Jason “Schmitty” Milsom managed to pick up this striking vehicle for the scant price of $2,000 and I am very, very jealous of his acquisition. He writes,
It turns out it is a Mantis Ageon or Targa after all. I just bought a “Mantis” Brochure on eBay (although I haven’t received it yet). It looks like the Kaylor Invader is actually a Mantis that they renamed Invader GT-5 for some reason. The title for my car says it’s a 1975 which is before Kaylor was building cars. It’s not running and has lots of problems. Since purchase I have installed a different engine (a dual port dual carb 1600 that was in an original 1944 Kubelwagen), installed a new steering column, did minimal electrics to make it legally driveable (lights, etc), installed pedals, cables, and so on, and just recently put the louvered cover (from a 240Z) over the big hole in the back. The car is only 37 1/2″ tall and an absolute blast to drive.
Have I mentioned how jealous I am? This is one of the most striking of the aggressive seventies exotic designs out there, and a very special car. Speaking of special cars, you may also notice a Trivette trike in the second photo!
[Note: I initially misspelled -- this is a "Mantis Aegean Coupe".]
This trike is currently on eBay (#190230739859) for about a thousand dollars at four days to go. Not much is known about it as it’s a “barn find”, but the assumption is that it was handbuilt (which I’d first assumed using foam sandwich construction, but in reality it’s a steel body) during the eighties. Apparently it was shown on the ISCA circuit and won a class championship in Handbuilt Sports for the Great Lakes Division. It’s been in storage for two decades, and has only 185 miles indicated on the odometer. The fuel pump seems to be dead, but other than that it runs (so whoever buys it will have to trailer it, but shouldn’t have too much trouble getting it going).
It’s built around a 1973 nicely detailed 1600cc VW driveline with a 4-speed transaxle. Suspension at the rear is VW IRS with coil-overs, and the front is a custom design built out of 2″ plated square tube. Gauges are Stewart-Warner and the upholstery is crushed velvet. It’s still registered as a VW Beetle, but I doubt that registration would hold up in most states.
Ah, the things you find in the forest…
Here’s a rare one — listed out of Chardon, Ohio, this “Urba Sport” Trimuter (#180248871044) is a potential solution to the current fuel crisis! It’s one of my favorite RQ Riley vehicles, and they still offer Trimuter plans (which are included in this auction). This one is running a plug-in EV setup, with an ~30hp electric engine mated to a VW transmission that gives a potential 50 mile range. It’s got the original low-tech controller installed, but comes with a more efficient GM EV-1 controller that could be installed — and judging by the rough shape of the driveline, it’s probably a good idea.
With three days left on the auction, I doubt this car (a true homebuilt, not a kit) will move past $1,500. Even if all you did was use the body, salvaged a few components, and built a new chassis, enormous time would be saved for someone who wanted to build this unique vehicle.
FireAero, Trike | Fri, 19 May 2006 Posted by : Shannon Larratt
Let’s start with this gorgeous FireAero (photos taken at Carlisle ’99)… But I’ll try and dig up some more photos of them from my archives!