2014 Shannons Melbourne Autumn Classic Auction

3 Wheeler Flinkelfluff GT with 2 stroke Tomos engine on removable tubular frame




This lot is no longer available

Invented by New Yorker Stuart Pivar and manufactured by the Tri-Ped Corporation of Farmingdale on Long Island, this three-wheeled vehicle was conceived as an urban runabout by the semi-retired head of several plastics firms. Pivar, variously described as a chemical engineer, art collector, historian, not to mention a friend of Andy Warhol, based his first micro-car design around the combination of twin mopeds and the resulting design was described by People magazine as looking like "… the result of a playground collision of a trike with a baby carriage" in a 1979 article celebrating its launch. The Tri-Ped was actually built around a sturdy tubular frame, with a detachable clip-on plastic canopy for weather protection. Pivar's creation was in essence a three-wheeled moped, which made it exempt from US emissions laws. Pedalled to start, the Tri-Ped was powered by a Minarelli V1 two-stroke motor driving the rear wheels via a chain, with a centrifugal clutch and effective brakes operating on two wheels. There was a battery mounted under the seat to operate the lights and horn and a small number were also made under licence in Israel with electric motors. Tri-Peds were rolling off the production line at the rate of a dozen a week by the late 1970s and People reported that "Major Russell Lloyd of Evansville, Indiana drives one, and so does Newport, Rhode Island mayoral candidate Buddy Sherman, who is transforming his into a campaign mini-bandwagon. An ice cream vendor is using them in fleets - as are whole resorts and retirement villages. One New Yorker has even ordered a custom job: black and pearlescent magenta." Of the approximately 700 made in the late 1970s, approximately ten are known to survive today.

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