Anybody ID This Ancient 3-Wheeled Car?

All I know is what you can see in the photos. What’s left of the front end. Long shot of the body. What’s left of the interior. Rear view. The rear end sitting on it can’t be one that would have been used on the vehicle. I’m stumped.

Indeed, my first thought was that this was a heck of a long three wheeler :dubious:

I went through the list of three wheelers at this site and didn’t see anything that looked like it. About the only thing with that sort of mini-van front and a long teardrop shape was the Dymaxion, which this definitely isn’t.

One idea would be that it is home made or custom made, ala the Jones. I would assume that if the chrome wing-thing on the front had an identifying insignia that you would have taken a close-up…

I didn’t take the photos. Someone passed them along to me to see if I could figure them out. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if it turned out to be a custom job, though.

“Ran when parked”

Whatever it is, it looks like it was built before 1950. Were any three-wheeled cars manufactured in the US in great number?

Not that I’ve ever heard of. There’s been a couple of attempts, like the Dymaxion and the Davis, but combined, those only have a few prototypes.

It looks like a totally custom job. Especially the front; it looks like it used to be the rear of something.

I think that it’s a post-war microcar of some sort. It’s not a Mercedes; the logo doesn’t quite match and it has a mount for something at the top.

My guess is that it’s a delivery vehicle. A sedan wouldn’t have the front seats separated from the rear. The long space between the drivers seat and the engine bay is probably for the storage area.

You might want to ask this guy if he can help

I think it’s a homebuilt. The front fenders are obviously Chevy, and the front bumper looks Chevy-ish too.

I keep trying to add up 2+2 and I keep getting 37.6 with those pictures.
Here are some of the things that strike me as odd

Front view:
What is that chrome(?) piece on the side of the body for?
Why does the chrome piece on the front of the body, look like a handle to raise a deck lid?
Why does there appear to be a row of fasteners where you would expect a windshield to be?
What is that large rectangular “patch” on the top of the front fender?
I am not convinced that the front bumper is right for the car. Look at the outer end, how it curves up to vertical. Why? That seems to make no sense.
BTW looking at the headlight, it is early 50’s or before (bulb type headlight)

Side view / rear view
Why is there a differential from a live axle car laying in the car? By the looks of the body it is most likely a rear engine, driving a single or dual rear wheel. No live axle needed. BTW the axle looks too wide for this body. Saving the photo to my computer and blowing it up, I see the single rear wheel is still under the body.
Look at the RF inner wheel well. See how the body comes straight down about 1/2 way back? Why? Why not cover the entire inner wheel well, or not cover any of it. Why just half?
Look at the leading edge of the rear “engine cover” (for lack of a better term) see the line of fasteners? Looks like for a tonneau cover. What would the other end of the cover snap to?
What is with the very long distance between the front “body” and the rear “engine cover” What goes there?
What is that triangular hoop of tubing that comes up off the rear bumper?

So how do you get into this thing? The body has no doors. This leads to the assumption that the “patch” on the front fender is a step to climb on, and get into the car. With the tall skinny tires of the period, and the fat boy fenders, it would a bitch for anybody with short legs.
Looking at the interior, it has a speedo/odo on the left, a combination gauge on the right (fuel/oil/whatever) and is that a radio in the center? There are also some switches to the left of the steering wheel. No turn signal stalk.

My guesses:
Origin: British. Why? I can’t really lay my finger on it, it just looks like something a Brit would do. What was that statement made in an aircraft thread a while back about a British plane? (from memory) Proof positive that if you give a Brit a sheet of aluminum he will make something ugly. :wink: (FTR, I own a British car, I work on British cars, I love British cars, please don’t drag me to the pit) This car just has that look that only a mother could love that just screams British to me.
How old? A number of clues here:
No turn signal = (assuming British) pre-sixties for sure.
Radio = Looks factory installed, Post thirties, maybe as late as the late forties.
No door, no roof, large open area, single rear tire. Could this be the result of some war time production need to move cargo at the docks, or somewhere similar? I could see where it might have been set up for rear steer which would give it a real tight turning circle. Also the fairing over the rear wheel would allow for a bunch of wheel travel, to accommodate loads.

Except that the steering wheel is on the left. That would be a little too eccentric in a British car. :wink:

That was Rocketeer.


My guess is that the front is the door and tips down. The door on the BMW Isetta may have opened sideways, but I think that other microcar doors opened foward.

Maybe it was a Mercedes prototype, built by one of the guys who used to design German war machines (i.e., “We’ll prototype anything!”)

I sent links to the photos to him.

Do you think it might be (at least partially) a Felber? See this page

It doesn’t look like it to me. The car in Tuckerfan’s photos has all of a foot or two between the steering wheel and the front fender. Almost definitely, the engine was in the rear. The Felber looks like it has the engine in the front, not to mention being significantly shorter than Tuck’s.

About the axle, could be a rear engine, front wheel drive car. Kind of standard in reverse…

And BTW, that pre-5.0 lime green Mustang is hideous! ICK!