I was watching some of my favorite music from years past, when I came across SuperRad by Aquabats. Great song, but I noticed a very strange automotive Cameo in the video. Let’s see if you catch it.
They were banned. Removed from North American society, gone the way of the lawn darts and street meth, the dangerous 3 wheelers were sent to burn in hell to keep the public safe. I can’t say that Meth is something to try, but I can say that not everyone agrees with this idealism.
Pictured above is what most North Americans think of when you mention a ’3 Wheeler’. It’s very similar to a personal favorite of mine, but it’s note quite as similar in usage.
The Honda Gyro is an amazing 3 Wheeler and is extremely popular in Japan. It’s an extremely useful tool found whizzing in great numbers through the back streets of Japan on a daily basis. Much like a work truck they are most often found in white to be used a generic transport in moving goods from one location to another. Pictured above is the most common Honda Gyro ‘UP’ version with a flat deck, whether transporting engine blocks, or chunks of giant Tuna fish, they can haul it all. Another popular work configuration is seen below:
This version of the Gyro UP features a cold storage box for moving temperature controlled goods quickly. Often this is how you’ll receive your Pizza/food delivery!!! But like anything the Japanese touch they seem to add as much clean style to it as they can.
A long time popular car from the UK, its recent resurgence from Top Gear has brought it back into the light. It remains a massively popular vehicle in the UK to this day. Although suffering from the same roll over rate at the fatal American ban on 3 wheel ATV’s, the Robin is a fully enclosed body, giving passengers an entirely enjoyable roll over experience, rather than that of one of great injury. It’s best watched as a form of motorsport!
So are all 3 wheelers banned from the States? Not at all. Heck there is even an American Equivalent to the UK’s Robin.
The Cushman Truckster is what you see above you. A three wheel vehicle sold in droves in the US. Most famously known for it’s Police and Traffic enforcement use in big Cities. However, few realize that Cushman is actually one of the Oldest motorvehicle companies in the world, with it’s Origins beginning in 1903! Read more here.
Although the newer Trucksters are more well known, especially for their boxy utilitarian shape, the older ones, like above, are much more similarily shaped to that famous 3 Wheeler: The Tuk Tuk! As pictured below:
Tuk Tuk’s are absolutely littered across south Asia and rightfully so. A natural progression, evolution if you will, from the low displacement motorcycles also found transporting millions of people daily, adding that third wheel allows to carry a greater load a much further distance. The Tuk Tuk is a great example of change through need and function. On a side note, the popularity of 3 wheelers is a great sign of transportation advancement of culture. The pattern seems to repeat as such: Push Bicycle -> Pedal Bicycle -> Motorized bicycle -> motorized 3 wheeler -> Motorized 4 wheeler. However, the Tuk Tuk looks quite like another popular 3 wheeler, perhaps Europe had a similar vehicle?
The Piaggio Ape (pronounced Ah-pé), is Italy’s stylish and affordable addition to the Utilitarian line of 3 wheel stuff movers. The ape, much like all the others has and is still in use as an obvious and simple form of transportation. It too has a common racing league.
Point? 3 Wheelers are Dope. They are all over the globe and cheap to buy! Grab one!
Some of you know what the Minami Jump is. It’s a very famous section of track, notorious for it’s sudden rise and fall. A strange section of winding course.
Here’s the known video of it’s official debut.
These 2004 origins seem pretty weak compared to the much more aggressive had it evolved? Yes. But who was really doing the first big Jump? Some might say Daigo Saito.
Daigo’s extreme practice regiment really pushed the boundaries of the Minami Jump and began aggressively applying it to contest runs shortly after.
Though there were further boundaries to be pushed. An Australian named Stewy Bryant took the Minami Jump to even further levels.
Somebody had to do this first. See that silly line, far too close to the inside and go for it. Recently, this little gem popped up. Note how old Minami course is!
Danger Jump! Here’s a little gif to help you share!
I can’t fight it. I shouldn’t fight it. I’ve just have a magnetism to 5M powered vehicles. Though it seems more often then not they seem to find me.
My first 5m powered car was in the form of a free ’81 Supra. This was a free donation from the owner, the only one in the bunch I never got to slide. More on the story of it in ‘The Beginnings“. This little duck is so far the only 5ME, I’ve owned.
The was a white automatic ghost as well, but this time, 3 years younger, and one cam more flavorful. This was another free gem of a car. Sure you could pull the seat belts through the floor, and a crack around the control arm was waiting to explode, but it seemed to hold up to all the abuse I beat it with.
Following that, I took my show on the road. And for a new crowd I pulled the same trick. This time I scored a 124,000km Cressida for a mere $300. I bought it at 9pm the night before a drift event. It managed to go through a police road check with a wide open exhaust and fake plates to make that drift day. People loved it. It too had a 5MGE, 83 was the first year of the DOHC version for the Cressida.
This year, upon my return from upside down land, I was given an 83 Supra to play with. I played as best as I know how. Wiggling. I kept this car a Secret for a very long time, as I was asked by a local TV station to shoot a web series called ‘Speed Hero TV‘. Sadly my mental illness got the worst of me and I had to give the car back.
While I owned the Grey L-type above, I lucked into getting another MA60. This time a free ’82 P-type. This would technically be my 3RD MA60 Supra, as the owner of this black one had actually given me a white one a few years ago for parts. I had do nated it to a friend who parted it out. This time the owner said there was major problems with the engine. He had a shop check it out and they concluded it was a major failure in the headgasket and the motor was trash. I knew better from having owned so many 5M’s now, and working at the Supra shop that it wasn’t the case. Still fresh back from Australia, lacking tools and money, I tore it down, fixed a bunch of the gaskets, and found the culprit: intake manifold gasket. Someone had 100% coolant in the motor (our climate barely ever freezes here in Victoria). This aggressive coolant had eaten the intake gasket, which the cooling system runs coolant into the intake. So it looked like a head issue. With it all fixed up I called the owner to offer it back to him, repaired, free of charge. Sadly he had already found a new car. So I took it racing last weekend!
You can even see it fiddling about at the start and end of Justin Roberts most recent Cap D video:
Sadly now the P-type is gone, life just isn’t right for me to have a car. But we do have some Honorable mentions from my past car ownership list, like: My ’76 Toyota Corona Mark 2 (MX10). It too was M series powered with a 4M carbed motor!
And more recently. My RA60 Convertible I owned when living in Australia. One of 40 ever made for Australia. Powered, not by an M, but by a ultra slow 21RC motor. It made the list due to it’s close connections to the MA60 Supras.
The new IDx Freeflow concept really doesn’t remind me of the Datsun 510. So I got to thinking, what does it remind me of?
Oddly enough, this reminds me of an older post on funny little econoboxes.
This little red AE86, was a rescue car. Ditched at the side of the highway, windows smashed in, and motor pooped. The free 3AC long block was retrieved from an outdoor Tarp garage, having sat on it’s side with no manifolds for 2 years. Popped it in, and it lives on even now.
This blue engine bay is of a liftback AE71 I bought from the original owner. The motor died shortly after I bought it. So in went this freshly rebuilt 3AC that I had gotten for free. It was quite peppy and the carb was fiddled with, it used to throw fire out the tailpipe on decel. lolThis little fellow is Shannon’s 3AC. We just freshened it up with some paint and gaskets. All Auto powerful Tercel.
I’m not sure how we missed it. Decades of promises of futuristic cars, promised later, sometimes promised now. Atomic 50′s American dreams of the future of Jet Set motoring, flashy shapes, classy speed, glamorous. We missed it. You did too, you’re just as much to blame as me, though I couldn’t afford it persay, but at only $18,000 brand new, it wasn’t out of the reach of most of the modern world. You could’ve afforded one, with a warranty, I’m guessing, it’s most likely to be honest. I’m not entirely sure how we missed it; the worlds most realistic-futuristic car. Automotive perfection, resting in the corner of eyes, a blurry shape passing indirectly near us in traffic. It’s happened to you, you’ve seen one many times, ignored it. I bet you even think it looks good. Read more…