allard clipper three-wheeler

Allard Clipper proves Three-Wheelers are Cars

If anything proves three-wheelers are cars, not tricycles it has to be the Allard Clipper Three-Wheeler.

The reason this strange looking little car proves it is it holds four records in the car world.

Allard Motor Company Limited had been building cars in Clapham South London since 1945 most well known of these cars was the J2 which came 3rd at Le Mans 24 hour race.

Despite the success on the track of the J2 it never sold in large numbers, so in 1953 Allard Motor Company decided to start building a small three-wheeler car as sales of three-wheeler cars in the UK were booming at the time.

Allard Clipper Three-Wheeler Car

To build the three-wheeler Allard Motors teamed up with a company called Powerdrive. Allard built the chassis and fitted the mechanics to the car.

The strange-looking body was designed by a Mr Tunget and it was a strange design.

An aeroplane component company manufactured the body of the Allard Clipper. The molds for the body were handmade by a woman.

It is interesting that so many three-wheelers seem to have a link to aeroplane manufactures in some way.

Many of the parts were sourced from other manufactures the steering box was from Ford, the Brakes were from a Morris Minor, the engine was a 35occ Villiers engine.

To get power from the engine to the road the Allard Clipper had a very simple system of a drive belt from the engine to one of the wheels meaning there was no need for a differential.

allard clipper advert

Everything was going smoothly and a dealer in London was lined up. The cars were pretty rudimentary. Three abreast seating with an optional rumble seat for the kids. One door on the passenger’s side. Simple electrics (no turn signals). Miniscule price. It was competitive with and comparable to other microcars of the time. Except for how it looked, of course.

The Allard Clipper was however not a success it was plagued with mechanical problems and they were constantly being returned because of overheating and many other problems.

Today only 3 Allard Clippers have survived 2 in England and one in Germany.

The records that prove it is a Car

The first one is it holds the title of the first car built in the UK to have a fibreglass body.

Second: it holds the title of the first car in the world to have the colour impregnated into the fibreglass.

Third: It comes up on many lists as the most unreliable car ever.

Fourth: It comes up on many lists as the ugliest car ever.

If it was a tricycle, not a car it would not hold the titles as a car.


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