From a Private Collection

1963 Scootacar Mk III Tricycle

Make: Scootacar
Model: Mk III Tricycle
Year: 1963
Registration Number: 990 GLY
Chassis Number: 1062
Engine Number: 484D593
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Guide Price: £3000 - 4000
Road Tax Exempt

Lot No: 200

The Hunslet Engine Company was a well- known railway locomotive builder in Leeds. So how come they developed a subsidiary called Scootacar Ltd., to produce this highly unusual tricycle? Well, this is Yorkshire, where anything is possible and when the wife of a company director has difficulty in parking her executive Jaguar, something has to be done and that’s a fact.  So it fell to one Henry Brown to think of an answer and he did so by sitting on a 197cc Villiers engine and persuading a colleague to draw around the resultant shape. Thus appeared a fibreglass bubble-like device of about 60 inches tall, 87 inches long and 52 inches wide.  Into this was inserted the said Villiers engine with 4 speed manual gearbox and chain drive to the rear wheel. Handlebar steering was used with independent coil sprung front suspension and a spare wheel was mounted on the rear.

By 1963 development had resulted in the Mk III De Luxe Twin, featuring a mighty 324cc Villiers 3T two stroke engine, which could propel as many as three persons at a near-illegal 68mph. Seemingly only 25 examples had the larger engine and the Mk III has two exhaust pipes and a couple of cheeky holes in the rear of the body under the bumper to differentiate it visually from the Mk II.

This particular Scootacar Mk III was purchased by its current custodian in 1982, previously it had been owned by a Mr Chapman of Orpington from 1979 and possibly just one prior to that. It is very original apart from some minor modifications: a removable panel has been fitted to one side of the car to gain access to the engine, there is a home-made gravity fuel gauge on the dash, and the exhausts (with Bonneville silencers) and black painted roof are non-original. We understand that at some point, the Scootacar was converted to hand throttle, hand clutch and foot gear change. In terms of the vehicle’s condition now, the Scootacar requires a retrim, the seats are not present nor is the front motif and the vehicle would benefit from a respray, but as it is a glassfibre body there are no rust issues to worry about.

It is worth mentioning that the Tricycle is well known to the Scootacar Register, a club founded in 1979 to record all known (and previously known) Scootacars. The Register publishes an annual newsletter and will endeavour to assist with the procurement of spare parts and general information, there is indeed a Register published handbook / manual available.

The history file contains a 1977 vehicle inspection checklist, two MOT test certificates from 1978 and 1979, DVLC correspondence, a V5 document plus photocopies and the V5C registration certificate.

Auction Date: 1 March 2024