Many of us began our love affair with mechanical modes of transportation on three wheels — the ubiquitous kindergarten trike. If the price is right, today’s Nice Price or No Dice Trimuter could be a way to channel that inner child.
There are a lot of times when we as consumers are happy to pay for patina. We often will shell out extra cash for blue jeans already frayed and with holes. Most of us also prefer movies that offer a lived-in look. That gives even fantastical stories an added layer of believability that enriches the experience.
Sadly for the seller of the 1961 Ford F-100 “Rat Rod” we looked at on Friday, none of that passion for patina could overwhelm a steep $12,000 asking price. The integrated pickup, as Ford positioned the combo cab and bed truck, looked to most of you to be more shabby than chic, and thus sent the price down in a massive 80 percent No Dice loss.
When you think of old and worn out, or perhaps more appropriately, old and abandoned, kit cars often come to mind. Putting together something as complicated as a car in your own garage can prove a daunting task and it’s likely that only a minority of people who undertake the effort actually see it through to full fruition.
Today’s 1982 Urba Sport Trimuter is a kit car that remarkably does look complete and also to be in pretty decent shape. That’s perhaps because it wasn’t all that tough a job to build as it’s only three-quarters of a car, and is powered by a lawn tractor engine.
Surprisingly, the Trimuter isn’t just some weird one-off. It first appeared on the cover of the February 1980 issue of Mechanix Illustrated, an American publication targeted at people who like the idea of biting off more than they can chew. You know, the “hold my beer” crowd.
Now, I’m not going to go into the history of the model because Jason has handily already handled that adroitly for us in an article from earlier this year on a much trashier Timuter. You can call me lazy, I’ll stick with efficient.
This one is in much better shape than Jason’s find, featuring sparkling metallic green paint and flashy chrome mag wheels wrapped in white-lettered tires. That’s just in the back, of course, since the Timuter is strictly a three-wheeler, classified, according to the ad, as an enclosed motorcycle in its present state of residence and hence requiring a helmet when operating. Fortunately, the seller is throwing in a color-matched brain bucket with the trike.
Even though it’s plenty weird, there’s still a lot to like about this Trimuter. It has both a pop-up headlamp (we all love those) and a pop-up door to get to the tidy cabin. That interior appears reasonably roomy and features a pair of seats that look like they may have come out of a Pinto. The steering column is alarmingly long for something that only has to turn one wheel, and it probably masks the view of the tiny instruments. In contrast, the passenger gets a single radio speaker as a dash companion.
Motivation, if you can call it that, comes from an 18 horsepower Onan two-cylinder engine. If you’re as big a fan of the Mustie1 YouTube channel as I am, then you are probably well-versed in the ins and outs of motors such as these. You probably then also know that there’s not going to be much more to be wrung out of it and hence no way to improve the 35 to 40 mile-per-hour top speed the seller claims this Trimuter is able to muster.
That’s ok though since anything more than that would probably prove to be a pretty terrifying experience considering that you would be doing it on only three wheels in the tippiest two-back/one-up fashion possible. No, this is more for cruising around the neighborhood, impressing at Cars and Coffee, and maybe going to the DQ for a milkshake and a crowd of curious onlookers. What might that be worth?
The seller is asking $6,500 for the trike and is open to offers or even trades. If we’re using that as a starting point, do you think it’s a fair place to jump off? Or, is this Trimuter a kit that just asks way too much caboodle?
H/T to glemon for the hookup!
Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.