Potential Kabinenroller Deal: 1955 Messerschmitt KR200

The Bruce Weiner microcar museum auction, in 2013, set a high bar for microcar prices, as some of the best example of the rarest and most desirable among the breed went up for sale. It seems that Isettas and Messerchmitts have kept fairly high prices ever since, so this Messy will be a deal if the bidding doesn’t go up too much and the reserve isn’t too high. After all, what’s not to love about a three-wheeled microcar made by a German aircraft company? Continue reading Potential Kabinenroller Deal: 1955 Messerschmitt KR200

Citroen-Powered Three-Wheeler: Performance Vehicles Trihawk

We’re big fans of odd layouts, and this certainly qualifies. The TriHawk had a short run in the early to mid 1980s and offered super-light weight, low center of gravity and eye-catching style.  Think Slingshot, but way ahead of its time and with the added bonus of being built in Dana Point, California.  Add in a Citroen flat four and we’re in heaven.

The seller claims this example has 84K original miles, which is a lot for something that is basically a really cool toy.  Apparently, only 96 of these were built and this is number 51.  There’s also mention of a frame-off restoration and some indication of new parts.  The result looks basically new to us, and, despite it’s 1980s build, this feels very 70s in gold fiberglass!

Reserve hasn’t been met; so we don’t know what the seller wants, but this seems like a lot of fun anywhere close to the current $5,300 bid.  If it truly runs and drives well and can easily be registered, we think there’s still value in a higher bid.  Supposedly, it registers as a motorcycle, which make things easy, but may require a helmet (?).  That might not be a bad idea, anyway…

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Lodi, CA, USA
$5,300 with 16 bids, reserve not met and 4.5 days to go

It’s fair to say nothing looks quite like this, though it has a lowered dune buggy vibe going on, what with all the gold ‘glass.

Gold is really just royal brown.

Engine is indeed in front, and bonnet tilts for access.

Here’s the head-on view, which few will see, as most rear view mirrors will be aimed too high.

Profile shows side pipe and rear wheel pushed far aft.

Motorcycle much?  Luggage rack probably means there’s no storage under there.

Interior is sporting and very much car like, though we imagine it’s tight.

Machined cluster finish is a cool touch and, again, feels pretty 70s.

Seats appear to offer good lateral support and are in great shape.  The seller says the upholstery is new.

Here’s the Citroen flat for – a conversation piece in and of itself.

Ad text:

Be Sure to See all our Other High Quality Private Party Vehicles up for Auction In See Other Items under Seller Information! No Trades!!
Extremely Rare 1984 Trihawk Model 304 Sports Car
Number 51 Of 96 Manufactured
Citroen 1299cc Four Cylinder, Air Cooled Opposed Flat Four Engine
Citroen Transaxle, 5 Speed Synchromesh Manual Transmission
Renault Front Wheel Drive Independent Suspension and Rear Trailing Arm
1985 Car and Driver Magazine claimed one of the 10 best cars in Road-ability .87g on skid pad test.  (Other independent test show .97g skip pad)
Wide Front Wheel Base and Low Center of Gravity.
Curb Weight with Full Tank of Gas is 1350 lbs.
Mileage reads 84360, Believed Original Miles
California Clean and Clear Title
Call me, Dan at 209-xxx-xxxx with Questions (NO TEXTS)
You are bidding on an Extremely Rare 1984 Trihawk 304 3 Wheeled Convertible Sports Car. This is Number 51 of a total of 96 Manufactured.
This Trihawk Won 1st place in the 2015 65th Annual Sacramento Autorama, February 14-16th at Sacramento Cal Expo and 1st place in 2015 Annual Grand National Roadster Show January 23-25 in Pomona, CA. Show Quality Condition and ready to Show and Drive. Runs and Drives Excellent.
Drivetrain, Accessories and Stock Equipment:
Citroen 1299cc Opposed Four Cylinder Air Cooled Motor developing 67 HP
Citroen Transaxle with 5 Speed Synchromesh Transmission
Renault Independent Front Suspension Front Wheel Drive
Renault Rear Trailing Arm
Adjustable Shocks
Restored Bucket Seats and Complete Interior New Upholstery (Original Style)
New Dash
Gauges Include
Original Rechromed Front Bumper
Original Rechromed Rear Bumper
New Original Front Grill
Custom made Chrome Luggage Rack (Mounts through Body Directly to Frame)
Factory Heater
Roll Bar Chromed
Piper Cub Windows
Ruspa Aluminum Wheels
JVC Stereo AM/FM
Rear Speakers
11 Gallon Fuel Cell
Fire Extinguisher
Convertible Top and Side Curtains
All Lights, Signals and Wiper in proper working order
Owner can furnish Resto Pictures and Receipts.
Frame Off Restoration
Please look over the Photos and Call me, Dan at 209-xxx-xxxx with Questions (NO TEXTS)
Thanks Again and Good Luck!

Bond Minicar 250 G

No, the infamous Reliant Robin was not the only three-wheeled, British microcar.  About 25 years before the Robin, there was the Bond Minicar.  Today’s feature car is the best of that breed – at least in terms of being a complete car – the Mark G.  It also represents the end of a nearly twenty-year run.

The Mark G is a fully-enclosed car, vs. some of the very early versions.  It is also the only variety to feature a twin-cylinder engine – double the cylinder count of earlier versions!  Of course, it’s still a 250cc, two-stroke engine putting out a whopping 12 horsepower (give or take).

The big news with the Minicar was the combined engine and front wheel unit, which means the engine steered with the wheel.  The seller has included a video which beautifully illustrates this, as well as the resultant turning radius, which is quite amazing!

This Bond appears to be in great overall condition and this is certainly a rare find in the US.  We hope it goes to a great home!

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$5,755 with 42 bids (!), reserve not met and 3.5 days to go
Granite Falls, WA, USA

Viewed in profile, this design is an odd combination of unique in front and pretty typical for the period in the rear.  Of course, the bizarre front proportions are dictated by the odd front wheel layout.

The actual front end and grill fit well with the classic rear design.

You know this is a later one, given the 50s fin design.  This was designed around the same time that Sunbeam included American fins in its Alpine design.

The Minicar features a large hatch opening with a relatively small cargo area.  However, we suspect the rear seat folds, which would open up quite a bit of space.

Front doors are front-hinged and, of course, the layout is left-hand drive.

Interior is simple and, apparently, the top is fiberglass.


Here’s the Bond money shot – the engine mounted atop the front wheel.  Yes, that whole mass turns.

Chain drive is always a great car feature!  Note that the exhaust “exits” in the front.  We recommend making sure the firewall is well sealed and/or driving with windows open for good venting!

Ad text:

Very unusual and very rare especially here in the USA is this Bond Minicar. It’s in very nice running and driving condition and has an extremely unusual drive train arrangement.

 This car features a 2 stroke 2 cylinder 250cc villiers engine that drives the front wheel through a chain. The entire drivetrain including the exhaust turns with the steering. It can turn nearly 90 degrees each way making it turn extremely sharp. 

 The frame is in great condition and the fiberglass body and paint are also in very good shape. There are minor imperfections here and there but overall it presents extremely well. The glass is all in good shape. Some of the window moldings look quite old and dry rotted but still working. It currently has a plastic back window fitted but the original glass window is included (would need new seal to install). 

This car features a dynastart combination starter and generator which works very well. It starts easily and runs great. The brakes work well although the pedal travels a bit far. The front brake is hydraulic and the rear brakes are mechanical. All the electrics work good including the horn although the horn button is missing. 

The Interior is quite nice with no rips or splits in the seats. 

 The original fuel tap had failed so it currently has a modern tap that you have to open the hood to turn on and off. You also access the fuel tank from under the hood.

Driving the car is quite a different experience. It features a column shift that ratchets through the gears by moving up and down. Although it is quite slow we did manage to get it up to 45mph on a level road. 

It has a clear Pennsylvania title.

Buyer is responsible for all shipping costs and arrangements. 
I highly recommend and encourage a personal inspection.
The Bond can be viewed by appointment in Granite Falls Wa (near Seattle).
 I reserve the right to end the auction at any time.
 Must be picked up within 30 days after end of auction.

 Please feel free to ask any questions and be sure to watch the video of this car in action:


Panther Motors Scoot Coupe P150 Trike

The Panther Motors Scoot Coupe is pitched as a side-by-side scooter and is allegedly street legal, at least somewhere.  We think it looks pretty damned fun.

This is a trike, but it at least has the twin wheels in the front.  One can hope this means it goes around corners.  Despite the three-wheeled nature of this vehicle, the seller makes the odd claims that it has “4 wheel” disc brakes and “4 wheel independent suspension.”  Perhaps there’s a fourth wheel hiding somewhere?  The spare?

While this was born in FL, it’s now in CA and apparently can be registered here.  If it’s legal in CA, it’s probably legal everywhere.  Frankly, we’d like to find out how it drives and it’s tempting below about $2K.  That’s less than one-third the cost of an Elio that may or may not get built…

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Ojai, CA, USA
$1,425 with 15 bids, reserve not met, $4,300 BIN price and four days to go

It’s definitely low-slung, sporty and meant for nice weather.

Front end has vague New Beetle resemblance, but is essentially unique.

Rear reveals scooter roots.

Interior is about what one would expect – simple.  Note handlebars, as opposed to steering wheel.  Also, it looks like all hand controls were maintained, as there appear to be no pedals.

There’s a little bit of storage space in a locking rear compartment.  Your stash will share space with the battery and what we assume is the fuel filler.

Ad text:

This is a practically new three wheel fun mini-car in sparkling red. It has 4 wheel disc brakes, seat belts, electric start, automatic transmission and is street legal.  It has full lighting, blinkers, horn,  full gages, 4 wheel independent suspension, rack and pinion steering and a top speed of 55 mph . The Scoot Coupe seats 2 adults, has a gel coat fiberglass body with windshield, folding mirrors, large storage trunk, locking gas cap and stainless steel safety bars.  It is Titled and sold by Panther motors in Florida   .  It is here in Southern California .  Great fun!

Daihatsu Trimobile: The Three-Wheeled Mircocar from Japan

Here’s a rare beast in the US.  The Daihatsu Midget was a utilitarian microcar sold in Japan for several years and sold and marketed in the US as the Trimobile for a few years starting in about 1959.  Apparently, these were primarily used inside large manufacturing plants in the US, but can be registered and driven on the street – possibly qualifying as motorcycles.

This example is claimed as a restoration project, primarily because the engine and trans have been removed.  One could thus choose to reassemble it with is single-cylinder, ten (or less?) horsepower engine or attempt some sort of modern motorcycle engine swap.  Hmm.

So far, the price isn’t crazy, but we wonder how much higher it can go, given its disassembled state.  What would you do with this cool, little ride?

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Elmer, NJ, USA
$3,000 with 19 bids and two days to go

What’s not to love about this face?  Windscreen is out, but the cracked original and a lexan replacement are both included in the sale

There’s really not another profile quite like this.  Fast cornering is not recommended…

This angle doesn’t give much of a sense of scale,but one must realize that’s a tiny wheel and tire and probably a motorcycle license plate.

Bed should hold several cases of Blatz.

This is the pinnacle of modern luxury!

Two rats nests are included in the sale.

It looks like the major mechanical bits are present, but any potential buyer should take a more detailed inventory unless a swap is planned.

Ad text:

 This is a 1961 Daihatsu Trimobile. In 1959 Daihatsu opened a dealer in California in hopes to promote their great new product. The Trimobile!  Sales were a flop. This is a 1959 model that properly didn’t sell till 1961. It has a clear title matching the car dating 1961. It came from California in the 80’s as you see it and has been inside ever since. It looks to be complete but will need to a restoration to be perfect. 
     This is one of somewhere between 12-50 shipped to America. It had the American badges, Mph on the speedometer, and drives on the correct side. It is tiny. With the 59 cadillacs and impalas, these did not translate well into the American culture. 
       Pickup in south jersey within 3 weeks of purchase. Rolls great and brakes work. I can help load. 856-xxx-xxxx. No calls after 7pm eastern time please. 

On Dec-17-16 at 00:21:44 PST, seller added the following information:
I have only seen 2 others from the original shipment for sale and both were no original. there are a couple in microcar museums in California and that is it. I want this to go to someone who can care for it better then me. My reserve is less then 1/10 of what they sell for once finished. Good luck and please treat my baby well.  

On Dec-18-16 at 10:04:41 PST, seller added the following information:
This car is a great car for a restoration. It looks like everything is there. I revived it as seen in photos. The side curtains are original I believe and in good condition. The glass winshield is included but cracked. There is a lexan one made to size and included in sale. There is no rust seen anywhere. The cars been repainted. It should be done again to a higher quality. Would be ok for a street car but this little car deserves much better. It will be sold to the highest bidder. I will not End the auction early but thank you for the gracious offers. I wish the best life for this car. 

Potential Four-Fer: Piaggio Ape Calessinos

The Piaggio Ape has a long history including deliveries and shuttling rich people around beautiful islands.  Supposedly, the four available from this seller are rare special editions.  Whether that’s true or not, we think they’re cool.

These little beasts are powered by 422cc Lombardini diesel twins and put out 8 horsepower!  Sure, they’re not for racing,but they’ll get you around.  It’s up to you to determine whether they’re street legal in your country, state/province, county/parish or city/village.  The seller has up to four available, so you could attempt to collect the whole set.

Here’s some current info:

Yes, this is the same Piaggio that brought us the Vespa!

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Berlin, Germany
$6,400 with offers considered

This might happen a lot of you buy one or more of these!

Here’s a look without the touristas.  Wide whitewalls are a nice touch.

The roof has multiple possible configurations, including this and completely open.

Here’s a quick shot of the “interior.”

Ferrari for scale.

Here’s another thing that might happen if you drive this.

Vintage-looking ad!

Ad text:

A truly unique collectors vehicle. Only 600 pcs have been build worldwide for the 40th anniversary of the APE range by Piaggio in 2012 and have been sold out immediately. 

Each vehicle has a unique “Limited Edition Number” badge attached on the vehicle. 

Up to four of them available here. All in White / Bordeaux Red. 

The Ape Calessino is an essential for collectors and lovers of Italian design, to rediscover the true satisfaction of driving and enjoying your leisure time. The Calessino was incredibly popular during the 1960’s when Hollywood stars used them as a runabout at exclusive holiday resorts on sunny Mediterranean islands. Originally designed by brilliant aeronautical engineer, Corradino d’Ascanio, the APE’s star truly rose during the economic boom of the 1950/1960’s, a period which was called La Dolce Vita. Extremely fashionable and popular the APE Calessino was the very essence of what Italy was all about: enjoying leisure time with style and with panache. The folding top and the four seats make the Calessino ideal for a leisurely drive. 

Milage and prices are as follows: Approx. 6310 kilometer = 6400 USD, 4340 kilometer = 6800 USD, 1820 kilometer = 7200 USD, 290 kilometer = 7600 USD 

3 passenger seats + 1 driver. 422 cc diesel engine (8 horsepower). Does not sound like much but the engine is really tough. For those who want it can be replaced by an electric engine. Official high speed is 56 km/h. 4 speed hand transmission on the handle bar. 1 reverse gear. 

Roof is convertible and can also be taken off completely. Roof and door material is sailing-canvas and if wanted can be replaced (for example in a different color). There is a trunk in the back with a door that folds down. Seats in the back can be taken off if needed (for example to convert it into a street food truck or “pick-up”). Branding on vehicle (as shown in pictures) can be taken off with hot steam. 

Location of vehicles is Berlin – Germany. Invoice available. Shipping is on your side. Approx. 1500 USD to the east coast. Once you make a purchase I will help with the arrangement of the freight. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Straight Outta China: Wildfire WF650-T with Engine Swap

Those familiar with Wildfire – an interesting name for a gas-powered device – know that they sold Chinese-made trikes in the US with pickup and minivan bodies.  Car and Drive famously reviewed one and was less than impressed.  The US EPA also had issues with this company.  Maybe your experience will differ?

These usually feature a 250CC engine, but the seller of this one has installed a 600 Honda from a VLX Shadow.  We suspect that has dramatically increased output yet might have reduced NVH vs. the non-name Chinese engine.  This probably weighs about twice as much as the bike, however; so don’t expect blistering performance.  As a side note, NVH is critical here because the driver sits on top of the engine.

Handling is almost non-existent in a three-wheeler with the single wheel up front; but this seller claims to have improved the situation with wider wheels and tires.  We’re not sure increased grip would reduce rollover risk, however, as we might prefer to slide than stress the suspension.

So, if you need an oddball truck for your farm or shop, this might work; but we recommend some research if you want to drive this on the street.

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Willow Street, PA, USA
$2,995 BIN with offers considered and two days to go

As far as we can tell, Elmo Santa is not included in this sale.

Here’s the classic profile without Elmo.  Note that side pipes are not functional.

Front view is, well, narrow.  Doesn’t this scream “stable” to you?

Rear view shows truck bed and seller-installed dual exhaust (which looks to have come from a motorcycle).

How about that wood grain trim?  Fancy!!!

Gauges are almost complete, but no tach is present.  One can probably drive by ear and vibration, anyway.

Here’s the sub-driver’s-seat engine.

And..a peak from below, revealing the Honda name.

Ad text:

2008 Wildfire. It looks like a pickup truck, but it’s licensed, titled, inspected and insured as a motorcycle. This originally came with a 250cc motor, but we had the motor out of a 1993 Honda VLX 600 motorcycle installed.

Here’s a link to a video of the Wildfire running that was recorded on May 12, 2016: 


The Wildfire has a 4 speed transmission plus reverse. After installing the motor, I had a custom exhaust installed with dual fish tail pipes coming out the back. Note: Those are NOT real sidepipes under the doors, they are just there for looks. The “new” exhaust comes out under the middle of the rear tailgate. The motor is under the seat. This is a rear wheel drive trike with a drive shaft connecting the motor to the rear end.

In order to give it a little more stability plus a cooler look, I replaced the skinny 12″ rear tires with 10″ wide profile tires. I used wheel spacers to make the 10″ wheels and wide tires fit because of the size of the rear brake drums.

I installed an AM/FM/CD player. This also has a factory roof vent. Both sides and the rear gate flip down to make it a flatbed if you wish (which can be seen in the parade picture with Elmo).
I have over $7,500 invested in this Wildfire.

We used the Wildfire to participate in parades to promote our non-profit pet rescue organization, and it certainly got a lot of attention!

It’s currently registered in PA (as a motorcycle) and insured (very inexpensive to insure). 

Note: The body is NOT perfect. It has its share of bumps, scrapes, faded paint, etc.

If you want something creative and fun that grabs a ton of attention, this might be just what you’re looking for.

The Wildfire passed PA State Inspection. It is fully licensed, titled, inspected and insured as a motorcycle in PA.

The Wildfire is advertised locally and subject to prior sale without notice. The ad on ebay will be removed immediately if sold locally.

This Wildfire is being sold as is, without any expressed warranty or guarantee.

Note:  The reason my ebay feedback score is 0 is because this is a backup ebay account I set up just for the Wildfire. My original ebay feedback score is 100%

Location:  Very close to Lancaster, PA.

Update:  Just passed PA State Inspection on 8/2/16. Inspection good until October 2017.

Elio Alternative? Litestar Pulse

The Litestar (later called the Pulse) was built from 1984 to 1990 in Owosso, Michigan by the creatively named Owosso Motor Company.

If you can’t stand waiting for your Elio another minute, this might be for you!  After all, this offers a small engine and tandem seating.

Power comes from an 1100 cc Honda Goldwing engine, which should motivate this thing pretty well.  Also, because only three wheels touch the ground at any one time, this is classified as a motorcycle (in most states?).  These seem to have quite an enthusiast following; but a production number under 350 units means you won’t see another unless you go out of your way to do so.  We’ve never followed an auction on one of these before; so we don’t know if $11K is “all the money” or if there’s room to go.

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Solana Beach, CA, USA
$11,100 with 20 bids, reserve not met and 10.5 hours to go

While the Elio went futuristic/weird with its styling (don’t get us wrong – we love it!), this went airplane.

Here’s a rear 3/4 – is it aerodynamic?

Profile looks somewhere between Cessna and Lear Jet, with the nose cone clearly leaning toward jet.

This might be hard to see if your rear view mirror!

Rear is oddly squared off, but that allows for a tail lamp and license plate.

This theoretically seats two in tandem; but we’re not sure how much rear leg room is available.

The cockpit is an arguably sporty affair, perhaps due to its utilitarian nature.  We assume that’s a motorcycle shifter on the floor.

Ad text:

INTERNATIONAL BUYERS WELCOME! I can be reached at (76O) xxx-xxxx. If you want a one of a kind, show winning, draw the biggest crowd anywhere you take it, non-stop pictures being taken type of vehicle THIS IS IT!!! This is a FULLY STREET LEGAL and custom built Fighter Jet, Rocket, Airplane, Jett Vett, motorcycle, kit car, hand built, I have no idea what to call it car. It is powered by an 1100 cc Honda Goldwing engine with a manual transmission. It would be perfect for a Hollywood Studio or movie rentals. If you have a business that you want to promote, this thing draws major attention everywhere. Wrap your logo on it and I know it will pay for itself in no time. It is great for parades, especially Veterans Day and Fourth of July events. Or just park it in your Man Cave and be the talk of everybody. It is registered as a Honda motorcycle with current California registration and tags. I just had all four carburetors gone through. It runs well. It does not need to be smogged. You can also drive with the cockpit open if you want to. The amount of man hours spent building this ride are over the top. It has one wheel front and center, one in rear and center, and one each underneath the “wings”. It seats two underneath the sliding cockpit. The seats are in-line just like a plane. The steering wheel, dash, and gauges are front and center. The flush mounted headlight flips up. The paint, body, and upholstery are all in good condition. Obviously, this car is not for everybody. But, I do know it makes everybody young and old smile and laugh. If you want to have some fun this summer at the car shows or just cruising the beach, you will have a difficult time finding more of an attention getting ride and you certainly will be the only one there. I am located in Solana Beach, CA near San Diego. HAVE SOME FUN THIS SUMMER!  Thanks and good luck!

On Jul-25-16 at 16:50:54 PDT, seller added the following information:
Thanks for all the interest. I have received a bunch of information from people on the car.  Most of it helpful and friendly.  Some of it from idiots that evidently are out to prove to the world that they are experts on weird stuff. This was a production vehicle from 1984 to 1990. 360 were built during this time. If you Google Litestar Pulse you will find a ton of information on these. The most authoritative site is autocycles DOT org  There you will find serial number info, dates produced, engine variations, numbers remaining in the registration base, etc. Thanks!