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Three wheeled electric vehicle bleg

Glenn Reynolds mentioned the Aptera. About three weeks ago, I saw on Pellissippi Parkway a three wheeled futuristic looking car. It was bright red. I thought it was odd and I was curious. I went home and some combination of googling three-wheeled vehicles lead me to believe it was an Aptera. The vehicle I saw sat two in the front. Anyway, turns out Aptera only has prototypes in Cali and all Aptera’s are white. So, obviously, what I saw was not an Aptera. Anyone know of a similar looking vehicle? Or, better yet, any of you seen a similar car around Knoxville/Blount County?

12 Responses to “Three wheeled electric vehicle bleg”

  1. Aptera fan Says:

    Yes it was likely an Aptera Typ-1.
    Ther are videos and pictures of it at

  2. SayUncle Says:

    In east TN and bright red?

  3. Magus Says:

    Are you sure it was electric?

    Could have been a T-Rex trike.

  4. SayUncle Says:

    nah, it was enclosed. not certain it was electric.

  5. Sam Says:

    the aptera looks awesome, but I’d be worried about how it handles rough roads.

  6. Les Jones Says:

    Sort of related: this morning I saw a tiny black and yellow car on Pellissippi that I believe was a Smart Car.

  7. DirtCrashr Says:

    Corbin Sparrow?
    Mike Corbin, maker of motorcycle seats, branched-out into vehicles. Don’t see how one could have got that far east of their California migratory route…

  8. straightarrrow Says:

    Back in the early 60’s there was a fellow who drove a three-wheeled Messerschmitt to work every day. Two wheels in front one tail wheel, fuselage very narrow, inline seating for two. The canopy swiveled up and over to the side. However, it wasn’t in blount co. and it was more than 40 years ago. Three wheel enclosed cars are not a new thing.

  9. Rivrdog Says:

    Straightarrow, weren’t those old Messerschmitts actually a four-wheel car, with the two rear wheels being a two-wheel, closely-spaced truck on a single axle?

    I remember seeing them in England during the mid-50s. IIRC, they had a smallish two-cylinder motorcycle engine and a motorcycle transmission that may not have had a reverse gear. Also, I remember seeing them in a fighter-style configuration, where the passenger sat behind the driver under a Perspex (Plexiglass) canopy which tilted to the side to open.

  10. Moriarty Says:

    Some years ago, I knew someone who used to build 3-wheelers out of aircraft drop tanks and a Honda Gold Wing (usually one that had undergone a front-end collision.) The concept appears nearly identical; two steerable front wheels with a single rear drive wheel.

    He’d put one together every few years, drive it for a while, get bored, sell it and build a new model. He told me that it was “quite fast” (though I have no clear idea what that meant) but that it wasn’t for rough roads or difficult driving conditions.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the Aptera sells in the PRK, where the highways are rapidly approaching Third World norms.

  11. rb Says:

    Funny you should mention seeing an unidentified small car in East TN. About a year and a half to 2 years ago, I saw a Smart car in Seymour. (Is that like saying I saw a Bigfoot?)

    My reaction was “Huh?”. I thought it might have been one of those modified golfcart things tourists used to rent in Pigeon Forge, but how did it get to Seymour?

    I discovered what it was, months later, when I received the April 2007 issue of Consumer Reports, which stated that it would be coming to the States next year. That means it would almost certainly have been a diesel from Canada.

    I still don’t have an explanation for it. Perhaps there is an enthusiast or scientist in the area (maybe UT?) who gets these type vehicles and tests them? That might explain your unidentified micro-car (UMC) sighting as well. I don’t know. I’m curious as well about this.

  12. joated Says:

    Wasn’t one of these, was it?

    HMV Freeway was manufactured in the last gas crunch. There are some still around. My son had a bright yellow one a couple of years ago.

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