Front-driven three-wheeler gets a GM-sourced four-pot and suicide doors
If, say, you were a prospective customer of autocycle maker Vanderhall that has been begging for something more practical, the Utah company now has you covered – quite literally – with this new offering. Fans of the very (very) niche three-wheeler segment may recognise the new Carmel’s form from the 2016 Venice, but new for 2019 is a GM-supplied four-pot engine, actual doors and (presumably to keep the Midwest US sun off its customer’s heads) a removable roof. Morgan 3 Wheeler, eat your V-twin heart out.
Despite a sizeable bump in power over its Vanderhall siblings, the Carmel’s engine sends drive to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox, meaning it’ll come with none of the hilariously accessible throttle oversteer Morgan’s single-wheel-drive 3 Wheeler offers. But in the Vanderhall’s defence, we suspect the boost from that 1.5-litre engine coupled to a pair of boots rather than one ought to give it very strong performance.
Anyway, the likely main draw to the Carmel will be its design, which is part-retro, part-modern, both outside and in. The suicide door-accessible cabin has a simple six-dial instrument cluster and glovebox as the only dashboard features, with a wood-rimmed steering wheel, leather trim and aluminium footrests adding to the theme. Only a pair of steering wheel mounted paddles remind of the juxtaposing ingredients behind the old school.
Sold? To get the top-spec GT variant (which comes with that lid), you’ll need to fork out $43,950 (about £36k), but there’s also a $35k (£28.6k) Blackjack, which comes in option-light form as a part-blank canvas for your own modifications. Not that any are likely to make it to Blighty, with the US autocycle labelled by Vanderhall as an all-American machine made with US parts only. Something tells us exports to the UK aren’t high on the agenda – although you could always do it yourself. Or you could make do with one of these…
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