5 Excellent 3-Wheeled Cars That Are Fun to Drive, According to HotCars
There are a lot of weird cars in the world, but few get as many second looks as a car with just three wheels. Most people expect a vehicle to keep four wheels on the road, but according to HotCars, there are five three-wheeled cars that are fun to own and a joy to drive.
Three-wheeled cars are not a new thing
Some of the three-wheelers on the HotCars list are still in production. Others are vintage relics, but none are as old as Carl Benz’s original Patent Motorcar. Credited as the first gasoline-powered automobile, the circa 1886 car boasted one cylinder, a top speed of 10 miles per hour, and –you guessed it– three wheels. According to History, the rear-mounted engine generated less than one horsepower.
1. Morgan 3-Wheeler
Although he did not build the first three-wheel vehicle, Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan was definitely a pioneer in the world of tricycle cars. In 1909, the English innovator founded his own company to sell one type of vehicle– the Morgan Three Wheeler. In fact, the company did not make any four-wheeled cars until 1936, explains the Morgan Motor Company website. Morgan ceased production of the 3-Wheeler in 1952.
In 2011, Morgan renewed production on the car, which made the company famous. Now owned by the fourth generation of Morgans, the company hand-builds approximately 800 vehicles annually, including three-wheelers, Plus Four, and Plus Six motorcars.
HotCars describes the Morgan 3-Wheeler as a WWII Spitfire without the wings, echoing the summation of British fighter pilot Albert Ball, who said that driving the Morgan 3-Wheeler was the closest he ever came to flying without leaving the ground.
2. Berkeley T60
After Morgan stopped making its popular tri-wheeled car, Berkeley Cars Ltd. stepped in to fill the market gap. From 1959 through 1961, the company produced almost 1,800 three-wheeled Berkeley T60 cars that Small Cars Club describes as looking very much like a Jaguar E-type four-wheeled sports car.
Boasting two wheels up front and one in the back, the Berkeley T60 came equipped with a four-speed VR gearbox and a 328cc Excelsior Talisman engine. Toward the end of production, Berkeley revised the front and rear suspension.
HotCars describes the Berkeley T60 as a “little bundle of joy” that handles well and can be driven without a driver’s license.
3. Vanderhall Venice Speedster
Calling it “the most fun you’ll have on three wheels,” MotorTrend touts the Vanderhall Venice Speedster as a silly extravagance that’s totally worth the $26,950 price tag. With a mid-century paint scheme, a sliced-down windscreen, and a wooden steering wheel, the Vanderhall boasts a turbocharged six-speed automatic transmission that delivers a respectable 180 horses to the front wheels.
HotCars says the Vanderhall is an excellent weekend vehicle that puts the driver close enough to the road to feel connected and also makes lots of satisfying noise.
4. Nobe GT100
Another two-wheel-in-the-front car that’s bound to be loads of fun to drive is the GT100 from Estonian carmaker, Nobe. Currently made only as a prototype, the two-seat, zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) is expected to weigh a mere 1650 pounds and require a smaller battery than a Tesla EV.
HotCars anticipates the Nobe GT100 will be a fun-to-own three-wheeler with a 160-mile range and a top speed of 80 mph.
5. Scorpion Motorsports P6
Street-legal with a 600cc Kawasaki ZX6R motor and a six-speed manual transmission, the Scorpion P6 delivers 126 hp and a whole lot of thunder. Describing the P6 wheels with Wilwood brakes as something Batman would approve of, Sia Magazin says the roofless, door-less 725-pound delight can easily attain 60 mph in less than 4 seconds.
HotCars says that Scorpion Motorsports is currently out of business, but spare parts are readily available.
3-wheelers to avoid
Never shy about offering an opinion, HotCars recommends avoiding these three-wheel cars:
- BMW Isetta
- Bond Bug
- Polaris Slingshot
- Reliant Robin
- Stimson Scorcher
Where to get a three-wheel car today
If you dream of driving a vintage three-wheeler, monitor car auctions and estate sales and hope for the best. To reserve a no-emission three-wheel Nobe, you can pay a $500 deposit, choose your options, and place your order at the Nobe company website.