Three Wheel Car: Our 3VG DIY Car Leans Toward the Future

This fuel-efficient three wheel car leans into corners like a motorcycle and is nearly as exciting to drive. Meet the 3VG — someday there may be many single-seater cars that look similar.


| September/October 1983


It doesn't take a trained eye to see our three wheel car is anything but ordinary. As a matter of fact, it took an investment of over three years of design and fabrication work to develop this functional prototype. The vehicle allows its creators — MOTHER EARTH NEWS founder John Shuttleworth and members of our research crew — to actually put into practice a number of concepts that had previously been seen only on paper (if anywhere).

In Hey, Take a Look at Our Three-Wheeled Car we gave readers a brief preview of our project car, which was then undergoing some initial testing. In that article, we pointed out that [1] the American public is experiencing a metamorphosis in its approach to personal transportation, and [2] our vehicle fills a niche that didn't even exist until the car was actually built!

If that's difficult to understand, consider the following: Despite the fact that petroleum prices seem to have stabilized for the present and big cars are still very much a part of our highway scene, the trend is undeniably toward smaller, lighter, more functional automobiles even if they're often "disguised" as traditional sedans. And, given that "new" direction, it's not inconceivable that micro-minis — cars even smaller than today's subcompacts — might soon become common on American thoroughfares just as they've been on the crowded streets of Europe and the Orient for years.

The reasons for this shift toward smallness are varied, but the price of fuel and the increase in traffic density aren't the only factors. Studies indicate that some 80% of all passenger car trips involve the driver alone, and that about three-quarters of the time auto travel is concerned with distances of less than ten miles. In addition, families are generally smaller today than they were in the past, and there are more singles in the population now than at any previous time.

Furthermore, coupled with such factors are indications that consumers are becoming enthusiastic about sporty cars once again. (The appearance on the market of two-seaters, convertibles, and fuel-efficient, high-performance sports cars is one sign that this is so.)

The Question is Why

These trends provide some of our reasons for thinking that there may soon be a market for a cambering (or leaning) car. The simplest way to explain our prototype is probably to acknowledge that it's a unique hybrid of motorcycle and automobile. And, whether you're a cycle rider or not, you can appreciate that a two-wheeler offers an exciting ride at a cost that's easy to live with! But when it's raining cats and dogs, even the most adventurous soul might trade saddlebags for a cozy cockpit.





mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE



Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265