Three-Wheeled Car by Odin

Car meets motorcycle with this unique three-wheeled car, or Cyclecar.

| September/October 1982

The staff of MOTHER's Experimental Vehicle Newsletter ™ recently received a production model of the Odin Cyclecar for evaluation. And the little three-wheeled car attracted so much attention that we thought some of our regular readers might be interested in learning about this enjoyable yet relatively inexpensive (and fuel-efficient) form of transportation.

As can be seen from the photograph, the Odin is no ordinary automobile. In fact, despite its appearance, it isn't technically an auto at all. Instead, it's a vehicle that's licensed as, and assembled around, a motorcycle ... thus the name "Cyclecar."

Furthermore, even though most people would, if asked, swear that they'd never seen anything like it before, a good many folks seem to find something vaguely familiar about the little three-wheeler. The forward-mounted, air-cooled engine, the swoop fenders, and the torpedo-shaped rear cowling do emulate the charm of some classic old touring cars. And that similarity is due largely to the Odin's being patterned after the 1930-vintage "Beetlebacked" Morgan.

But looks are just part of the fun. Piloting the Cyclecar is definitely a unique driving sensation. The runabout successfully combines the performance and openness of a motorcycle with the handling and familiarity of a small sports car. And even though the version we tested was assembled around a four-cylinder, 350-cc. Honda bike (with a little, high-revving engine not particularly noted for an abundance of power), it still had vigor enough to cruise at 65 MPH, hold its own on the freeway, and negotiate the mountainous roads of the Blue Ridge. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The car in the photo is equipped with a 450-cc. Suzuki powerplant.)

The Cyclecar concept allows its owner to custom-tailor the machine to fit his or her driving habits. By using any one of the virtually hundreds of bikes available between 350 and 600 cc., you can give your three-wheeler about as much power as you want.

Mileage of the Three-Wheeled Car

The folks at Odin are not trying to market their Cyclecar as a high-mileage vehicle. In fact, they haven't provided any MPG estimates at all ... simply because each machine's mileage rating will vary depending on the engine size used and the owner's driving habits. However, from our testing, it seems that a rule-of-thumb estimate can be made by deducting 10 to 20 percent from the rating of the unaltered bike used as its base. And, in most cases, this will still be far better mileage than could be expected from a conventional automobile.

10/7/2010 6:41:24 AM

I have a brochure from The Cyclecar by Odin from the early 80’s. The mailing address on the brochure is Odin, 515 Water Street, P.O. Box 152, Cambridge, Iowa, 50046. If you find any information about what happened to the company, the molds, etc. please post.

Roland Green
2/20/2010 10:12:52 AM

Looks like the Morgan three-wheeler of the 1920's which were very popular for racing. In the 1960's/70's there were two notable three-wheelers in Britain, the Reliant Robin and the Bond Bug and just after the War there were the little two-seater bubble cars and the Messerschmitt three-wheeler which looked for all intents and purposes like a tandem airplane cockpit on wheels minus the wings. The Robin was popular for cheap motoring, (low raod tax, cheap insurance and high milage), but was eventually regulated to the scrap heap and vintage enthusiats by people's desire for more luxurious, faster, safer and spacious cars. They also became synomonist with two particular TV shows which did nothing to enhance their reputation. Morgans are still produced, though are four wheeled sports cars now, but each is hand-built by the original firm to individual order.

2/18/2010 10:00:16 PM

does the odin cyclecar still exist or any production?? if not where was it made and what happened to the molds??? any help would be appreciated--gary

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