Dreirad Phaeton
(not just another chopper-style VW trike)

OVERVIEW.  Here's a rough photochopped sketch of my design for a 1F2R trike (one front wheel, two rear wheels).  I'm told that Dreirad is German for three-wheeled and Phaeton is a roadster body style with two rows of seating.

The use of my modified fiberglass FiberFab Gazelle kit car body gives it a 'Roaring '20s' cyclecar appearance with room for TheMissus in the back seat.

Dreirad Phaeton will use a lot of stuff I already have on hand:
  • 1600cc dual port VW Bug engine, IRS transaxle, and 1969 chassis ('pan')
  • Three 15" steel-spoked wheels with skinny tires
  • Lowback front seats (one behind the other) from a Volkswagen SportsBug
  • Textured pickup bedliner for easy cleanup of the interior surfaces

I'll need to fabricate some parts, too:

  • Trimuter-style front suspension and steering (including a narrow handlebar)
  • Backbone frame with perimeter outriggers (rectangular steel tubing)


PURPOSE and CONSTRAINTS.  The primary use of Dreirad Phaeton will be as a 'dinghy' for side trips when we're staying in our 1995 Winnebago Rialta motorhome (right).  Because the 21' VW Eurovan-based Rialta is modestly powered, we need to keep Dreirad Phaeton under 1000 pounds. Despite the weight penalty, we'll need a custom receiver cradle that the front wheel can sit in when being towed and it must have fenders in order to meet all trailer regulations while it's being towed (the extended hood functions as the front fender).  Unfortunately, both of us will be required to wear helmets in this vehicle.


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Definition of Motorcycle

"Motorcycle" means a motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, on which the driver:

     (1) Rides on a seat or saddle and the motor vehicle is designed to be steered with a handlebar; or

     (2) Rides on a seat in a partially or completely enclosed seating area that is equipped with safety belts and the motor vehicle is designed to be steered with a steering wheel.