Last month we reported on how BBC Top Gear ranked the Bajaj RE as the most versatile car on the planet. Claiming that Tuk Tuks are cars brought mixed responses from our readers, the majority agreeing with it but some claiming it was wrong and the Tuk Tuk is in no way a car.
Research into what is a car
We decided this needed more research. The best place to start research is at the beginning so we looked back in history to the first car and there it was the proof that Tuk Tuks have more claim to being a car than almost every other vehicle on the road.
The first Patent Motor Car
Karl Benz applied for a patent on the 29th January 1886 for his vehicle. On the patent, Karl Benz called it Motorwagen which translated into English is Motor Car.
Karl Benz designed the car as a three-wheeler, it had a one-cylinder rear-engine, steering was by a handle not a steering wheel and there was no foot controls everything was operated by hand.
Comparing the First Car to Tuk Tuk
The first thing you notice is the Tuk Tuk has three wheels in the same layout as the first car, two wheels at the rear and one wheel at the front. The next is the rear engine which like the first car is a one-cylinder engine. Steering on the Tuk Tuk is via the handlebars a system that is very similar to that of the first car.
Comparing the First Car Toyota Corolla
We choose to compare the Toyota Corolla as it is the worlds best selling car.
First thing you notice is it has 4 wheels unlike the first car that only had 3 wheels, the engine is in the front and has 4 cylinders so again it is not like the first car, and the steering is by a steering wheel not by a handle of any sort.
So really apart from the fact it has an engine and wheels, the Toyota Corolla has nothing in common with what was first called a car. On the other hand, the Bajaj RE, Piaggio Ape and the TVS King all have a lot in common with the first patented car.
The Tuk Tuk claim to be a car
You only have to look at the Tuk Tuk and the first car to realise it has more right to be classed as a car than any of the top-selling automobiles in the world.
Cars such as Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4, Nissan X-Trail/Rogue, Volkswagen Passat, Honda CR-V and the Chevrolet Silverado all have very little in common with the first car compared to the Piaggio Ape, TVS King and the Bajaj RE, all of which you can see the resembles the first car at a glance.
So the claim that the Tuk Tuk is very strong and history proves beyond doubt that the Tuk Tuk is a car. For those that say the Tuk Tuk is not a car you can not argue with history and it is time, you accepted a tuk-tuk for what it is.
We can only but hope that the Tuk Tuk will be classed as what history proves it is and that is a car.