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Have You Ever? The Economic 3-Wheeler

Have You Ever? The Economic 3-Wheeler

Admittedly there is only a remote chance of a CMM reader ever having even seen this machine from the early 20s but its construction must surely have been the most basic of the cycle cars available post WW1.

The need for the cheapest of transport saw the Economic Motors factory base itself in Wells St, London W1 from 1919.

A simple two (wicker) seat machine with an Ash wood frame, powered by a 165cc flat twin two stroke engine, the Economic total weight was just 150lbs.

It came minus any suspension as the manufacturers claimed the wood frame ‘soaked up the bumps’ but the price tag of just £60 ensured it was the cheapest motorised transport available. The magneto was incorporated into the flywheel and final drive was provided by a single chain to the o/s rear wheel. With a reverse and two speed friction drive transmission the brave pilots could achieve 30mph although I doubt there was any joy travelling in the winter; with no weather protection at all, not even a small screen. The cycle car industry was beginning to loose popularity at the time with regular car manufacturers supplying the need for cheap transport and the final Economic left London in 1922.

Owned or driven one? Let me know!


From Fordie's Favourites, CMM p. 19 of April 2016, issue 325
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