One seat, three wheels: The Vanderhall Venice Speedster

The Vanderhall Venice Speedster is one unique machine. And one is exactly the number of people who can sit in this thing.

Vanderhall has taken its entry-level Venice model and removed a seat. Then a bit of extra bodywork has been applied, and the result is a vehicle called the Venice Speedster. Power still comes from a GM-sourced Ecotec engine. The front wheels are still the drive wheels. And the price is well-under $30,000.

A lot for a toy, but not crazy relative to the other three-wheelers on the market. Is it any good? Watch and see what we have to say

[Disclaimer: Vanderhall tossed me the keys to the Venice Speedster and included a tank of fuel. Then sent it back to me after fixing the bump shifter, so I could have another go.]

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12 responses to “One seat, three wheels: The Vanderhall Venice Speedster”

  1. crank_case Avatar

    FWD three wheeler? So the modern Lomax then?

  2. KentMB1 Avatar

    Saw these guys in Chicago in February. Didn’t get a chance to drive one though (Chicago…February) but I loved the looks, size and fit of it. I like the belly tanker styling of it. It looks like a lot of fun to drive and I wish your video was longer. Looking forward to a review of the electric one. Now I’m off to go look up images of it to see if anyone has one with the shark teeth paint theme on it.

  3. desmo Avatar

    I will never understand the point of a three wheeler. Everyone who knows motorbikes, knows of the complexity in all things directional stability, once a problem occurs on a single wheel. Two wheel axle is way more easier to align, let alone maintain.

    I think the original threewheeler was a 1920s Morgan, so maybe there was a shortage in metal or rubber in Britain, otherwise I can’t explain why they built it.

    1. Troggy Avatar

      In Britain, If it had four wheels it was registered as a car and you needed a car license to drive it. Anything with less than four wheels was classed as a motorbike which attracted lower taxes and could be driven on a motorcycle license with a B1 endorsement.
      Hence there was a market for 3 wheeled autos including the Reliant Robins and Morgan three-wheelers.

      1. Batshitbox Avatar

        Beat me to it. I’ll add that trikes like the Lomax above were available (cheap!) as kit cars, which the Brits seem to adore for their thrift and DIY charm.

        But like desmo, I can’t see the appeal of a modern 3-wheeler in the US, unless you have a prosthetic limb or something. People just think they’re fun, I guess. People eat tide pods, too.

      2. desmo Avatar

        Ah, thank you. Indeed I heard that, but couldn’t believe it given the complexity of the construction. The Germans for example had a solution based on velocity, and their threewheelers were indeed stopgaps after WWII.

    2. Maymar Avatar

      I think one minor asset as well is still regulatory. Cars are beholden to all sorts of extra (rational) safety and environmental regulations, while three-wheelers get lumped in with motorcycles for people who recognize they’re taking a calculated risk. I’m not comfortable riding two-up, and I’m often not willing to push my limits for the sake of a spill. But, compared to an Ariel Atom or KTM X-Bow, some of the three wheelers are relatively budget friendly ways to get something light and fun, but with a touch more stability than a motorbike.

      1. desmo Avatar

        The faster a Motorbike goes, the more stable it becomes. Gyroscopic force is the keyword here. I pretty much doubt that this applies to a three wheeler. I does definetely not apply to motorcycle with sidecar. A 1983 GDR MZ with sidecar is the most dangerous vehicle I own.

        1. Maymar Avatar

          I’ve never dropped a car, I’ve dropped a bike (although, yes, at very low speeds). I don’t think three-wheelers are an adequate substitute for bikes, I think they’re a fun, odd alternative to cars.

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            As the owner of three street-legal three-wheeled vehicles, I agree. Regardless of how they’re classified under the law, I prefer to form my expectations on the basis of them being not-quite-cars instead of not-quite-bikes.

  4. neight428 Avatar

    I would enjoy driving one of these, I think, though can’t see the fun differential making up for the extra cost above other such toys. I can think of a few cheaper options that would be more fun, in fact.