By Ken Hill
Shire, Paperback, 9780747802822, 32pp.
Publication Date: September 20, 2011
It is generally accepted that Karl Benz was the inventor of the motor car in 1885 but it is less well known that his car was a three-wheeler. Starting with the developments in the early years, this book puts three-wheelers in their historical context and describes the companies which produced them. For the first twenty-five years three and four wheel designs were developed side by side but the three-wheeler had severe bodywork limitations and four wheels gave a far more stable platform on which to build. Motoring at this time was limited to the wealthy and manufacturers began to realise that there was potentially an enormous market for cars at a reasonable price. For twenty years the light car, cyclecar, three-wheeler and motorcycle competed for this market until they were eclipsed by the mass-produced, £100 motor car. Since the Second World War many attempts have been made to revive the three-wheeler but the days when one in ten of vehicles on the road was a three-wheeler have gone.