Integrity Tire November 2018

spare thoughts

11974 Willow Grove Rd., Camden, DE 19934 93C Saulsbury Rd., Dover, DE 19904 NOVEMBER 2018 | 302-747-7887

3-WHEEL MICROCARS In the 20th and 21st Centuries

the large four-wheel cars at the time, and two-wheeled vehicles, such as motorcycles, were too small and couldn’t meet their needs. Many auto companies, including BMW, Bond, and Morgan, decided to take advantage of the situation. These companies produced small, lightweight, and inexpensive three-wheel cars that could be driven in Europe with a motorcycle license. They also provided the public with exactly what they wanted: cheap transportation. Morgan, the most well- known producer of three-wheeled cars, was one of those companies. They started up around 1910 and are still very successful to this day. In fact, their 110-year anniversary is next year. To celebrate, they’re releasing a new model — the Morgan 3 Wheeler 110. Similar to its predecessor, which was first produced between 1909 and the 1950s, it promises a classic look equipped with 21st- century technology. The Bond Bug was created around 1970 by Bond Cars. What’s interesting about this is that Bond Cars was taken over by Reliant soon after the Bond Bug was commissioned. Even though it was named “Bond Bug,” it was sold under Reliant Regal and contained several of their characteristics. In fact, the only part on the three-wheeled microcar that was not Reliant was the coil-spring suspension at its rear. The cars were only released for a few years before the

I’ve always been fascinated by three-wheel microcars like the Bond Bug, which is my personal favorite. It looks like a wedge of cheese on three wheels. Not all three-wheel cars look like this, though. There are also flashy cars like Morgan’s Three Wheeler, BMW’s Isetta, and many others with similar styles from around 1950–1970. Lately, there have been many companies working on building new electric three-wheel cars, and some have already been released. The three-wheel microcars have been around for longer than you might think. The first recorded draft of one was drawn up by Leonardo da Vinci back in the 15th century. The sketch that da Vinci drew showed a three-wheeled vehicle that operated through similar mechanics as a clock. The first microcar with three wheels, created in 1886, is argued to be the very first motorized vehicle — the Benz Patent- Motorwagen. These microcars became well-known in the early 20th century and have been around ever since, fluctuating in popularity throughout the years. People prefer these cars because of their economic characteristics; they’re smaller, cheaper, and lighter than the four-wheeled version. And cars were in high demand after World War II. People living in countries that suffered the aftermath of the war — Japan, Germany, France, and England — needed transportation. They were too poor to afford

company stopped manufacturing them due to poor sales. Plus, Reliant wanted to make room for its own three-wheeled model, the Reliant Robin. For those reasons, and maybe a few others, only about 2,000 Bond Bugs were made. Today you might not see them around too often, but car companies are bringing back the trend. Companies such as Peugeot and Volkswagen are building and releasing new electric models of the three-wheeled microcar, such as the CityEI. One of the newest versions was released last summer: the electric Nobe 100, designed and built in Estonia. It has a classic 1950s look, complete with the technology we have today. I’m excited to see what will come next for these interesting three-wheeled cars; they only seem to get better and better.

“I’ve always been fascinated by three-wheel microcars like the Bond Bug, which is my personal favorite. It looks like a wedge of cheese on three wheels.”

Jesse Zimmerman

302-747-7887 | 1

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online