The Tri-vator was built in Ruidoso, New Mexico (USA) which is just West of the alleged UFO crash in Roswell in 1947. It was manufactured by a company called Toby Industries during the early 1980’s and was sold in a number of kit forms or as a “Turnkey” product.
The body of the Tri-vator is a one-piece fibreglass shell attached to a steel frame and houses two seats that are side by side. Entrance to the vehicle is by a central canopy that tilts forward and can also be removed if required. The Tri-vator is 12 ft long, 4ft High and 5 ft wide. Standard power comes from a Volkswagen engine giving speeds of up to 100 mph and achieves 45 - 60 mpg. Other engines were also installed that included, Porsche 4 cylinder, Corvair 6 cylinder, Buick V6 and the Mazda Rotary RX2 unit. These are all used with a Volkswagen transaxle though each engine required different conversion adapters. In addition to being a Turnkey product the Tri-vator was sold in three kit forms that included:
Basic Kit: One piece fibreglass body, seat insert, belly pan, canopy and jig welded steel frame with front suspension,
Deluxe Kit: Included Basic kit plus all templates and patterns, wiring harness, continental wheel kit, fuel tank, trim accessories and steering assembly.
Complete Kit: Included Deluxe kit plus all non VW parts needed to bring the Tri-vator to a finished road machine.