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Trifid

Created in 1990 in Hopton, Norfolk (UK) the Trifid was an Austin Mini based two seater 3-wheeler built by Phil Wells and Mark Spriddell. The original vehicle was created from an abandoned trials /autotest car that was basically a cut-down Austin Mini.  It was cut down even further to just the floor pan and they built their "superlegerra" (tubes covered in sheet steel) body onto to it. The rear sub-frame was fabricated from a narrowed rear sub-frame with a tower to carry a single front rubber cone. Total construction time from Mini to MOT was just three weeks of evenings and weekends.

A "production" model then came about when the team obtained a Minus fibreglass floor pan and after a 6 month on /off process of carving foam and filler, the two part moulds for the wings and body were made. From these four bodies were created before they moved on to other things. The glass tubs were a monocoque with plywood diaphragms.

The Trifids was powered by numerous stock engines with the one owned by Phil Wells having a 100 bhp 1,380 cc engine with a 2.9:1 final drive ratio.  With a total weight of around 360 - 380kg the vehicle wasn’t short of speed. 

In total five vehicles (including the prototype) were built, from this the prototype and two of the glass-fibre bodied vehicles are still known to survive.

My thanks go to Phil Wells for both the information on this page and the photographs.

The original Trifid prototype.

The production Trifid.

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