Who Says American Ingenuity is Dead?


It’s described as one man’s 43,000 hour quest to finally come to terms with having bought a Chevy Citation. Not really, but the Triation does demonstrate why committee-designed cars all seem to look and feel alike. Click through the jump to see what one man’s vision hath wrought.

Hells yeah that’s a Chevy Citation coupe, or at least it once was. What was at one time the front is now the back, and along with three of the Chevy’s flat, featureless seats, this custom job has also lost a wheel and tire.
Thanks to the vagaries of our vehicle registration regulations that means this can now be licensed as a motorcycle – of course potentially requiring a helmet to operate, if that happens to be your local law. That would apply to the driver, who can roll down each window simultaneously being so snugly cosseted between the now more neighborly doors. In back, there’s only the ‘bitch’ seat so no one can complain.
The single front wheel and related suspension appears to have been lifted from some sort of agricultural application, but looks sturdy enough. The engine, which in the car’s original guise proudly led the parade now pushes like a dealer, having been banished to the back. The 2.5-litre also now runs north-south rather than east-west.
There’s little description of the custom, and even less on the motivation behind it. The $4,500 opening bid means that the claimed 43,000 hours of work were undertaken at $0.10 each, which makes this a labor of love. Will someone else love it as much? Only time will tell, 2 days and 9 hours to be exact.

Check out the Triation auction (and put in a bid!) here.
Thanks to Packard Rat for the tip!

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  1. Damian Solorzano Avatar
    Damian Solorzano

    Shouldn't be as tippy as a reliant…just as ugly however. still, brilliant job!

  2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    I love this car so frickin' much it hurts.

  3. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    I think the auction says that figure was $43,000.00 in labor costs at $11/hr. That equals around 3900 hours of build time.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      $11/hr for custom car work?!? A decent mechanic charges $60-90/hr. I think even a body shop charges $20-30/hr. This might explain a lot about this project.

    2. dculberson Avatar

      I was gonna say, 43,000 hours labor would be over 20 years of full time work. Yikes.

  4. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    <img src="http://img.get1car.com/volkswagen/4926/2003-volkswagen-1-litre-car-concept-1600×1200-image-6.jpg&quot; width="500">
    It's as if somebody finally answered the question, "What would the VW 1-Litre look like if was a huge and grossly inefficient three-wheeler…designed in the '70s…by stupids?"
    And hey…who HASN'T asked themselves that?

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Other than the "by stupids" bit I'd say it was asked and answered quite effectively by Paul M. Lewis:
      Admittedly only his first prototype made use of a VW engine, following that regrettable propeller incident.

  5. Maxichamp Avatar

    That car better be at this year's Concours de Lemons!

  6. FЯeeMan Avatar

    I… I'm not sure what to make of this….
    On the one hand, it would be great to drive around in just for the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot looks, on the other, you're driving a Citation. In reverse. All the time…

  7. BGW Avatar

    I thought it said "Titration" at first, which seemed appropriate given the clear usage of chemicals in this process.

  8. muthalovin Avatar

    OMGEEZE. You can roll down both windows at the same time!!!

  9. skitter Avatar

    I'm not even sure how to turn this into a meme.

  10. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    I'm thinking about this more now, the ad says it has air, but I only see the crotch vent. Does it blow cold? Would you want it to? Or are the vents in the rear, so blowing down your neck? Does the rear passenger sit backwards, can you mount a turret back there? And please tell me the rear wheels steer, it steers right? This only needs an R2 unit created from, I don't know paper mache, and two septic tank lines to pass for an wingless x-wing too!

  11. mad_science Avatar

    "Reverse three wheeled Citation" sounds like a sex act.
    …one that's illegal in 12 states.

    1. goingincirclez Avatar

      You're right. And thus, "potentially requiring a helmet" now makes even more sense.

    2. tiberiusẅisë Avatar

      I think its like a Sticky Flapjack without the syrup.
      (perfectly legal in Canada eh?)

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        So it's an arse.
        Yeah, I can't really argue with that.

  12. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    mr. mzs zsm msz esq


  13. goingincirclez Avatar

    Libation and inhalation provides motivation, for Citation amputation and Triation transformation, and appreciation / condemnation disputation consternation.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      Film at 11.

    2. chrystlubitshi Avatar

      citation for all of the "ation"s and that's a good thing. nice.

      1. texlenin Avatar

        You've got one of those, too, I suppose?
        That'd be my DD in a heartbeat.

    3. texlenin Avatar

      I hear this as recited by Clevon Little as "SuperSoul" from the movie Vanishing Point.
      A little Sunday morning good-time music!!!

  14. Feds_II Avatar

    So $4500 buys you a car that combines the power, reliability, and not-known-to-combust-in-rear-mounted-applications-ness of the Iron Duke with the reliability, and easy parts sourcing, and-not-likely-to-spin-you-off-into-a-ditched-ness of the VW automatic transmission/suspension.
    At least it's ugly.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      Plus the single wheel is at the wrong end.

    2. Alff Avatar

      On a positive note, it has three reverse gears (but only one forward gear).

  15. chrystlubitshi Avatar

    all it needs is corvair power and an el camino bed.

    1. Robert Emslie Avatar
      Robert Emslie

      An el camino bed – in the front!

  16. Alff Avatar

    That has one seat too many.

  17. dukeisduke Avatar

    Plus, if you thought you forgot something, you can just look through the windshield into the bed and say, "Yep!", or "Nope!" No having to stop and get out to look.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      I might have scorned this suggestion before today, when I went to flip my rearview mirror back down and realised that I was travelling at over 50 MPH with my rear liftgate open.
      The one time I fail to walk 'round the car is the one time I forget to close the tailgate. Damn it. Just… damn it. At least the cargo tray kept everything in place.

  18. chrystlubitshi Avatar

    third though. bed in front, steel or iron block Semi-truck race engine (Euro-race spec) out back.

  19. dukeisduke Avatar

    Where did he get the "r" in Triation? It couldn't be from the "CHEVROLET" emblem on it, because they used square block letters in all caps in that era.

    1. goingincirclez Avatar

      Probably an 87 or 88 Thunderbird (possibly 85-86 as well, if they started using that logo then).

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        The typeface still looks a bit off, though I don't have a better suggestion offhand.

        1. tempesjo Avatar

          On the 43,000 hour project, maybe he spent 400-500 hours mining ore, smelting, and fabricating his own "r."

        2. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

          Well, hopefully.
          EDIT: Good.

    2. Ol' Shel' Avatar
      Ol' Shel'

      Take another 'I' and graft a little 'C' onto it. Notice how the 'r' is lower case…

  20. dukeisduke Avatar

    The Iron Duke is still mounted transversely. Also, it looks almost like it was built from two Citations. That rear end creeps me out, with the headlights-now-taillights. It looks like an undead Citation coming straight out of hell, eyes glowing. Yikes.

  21. P161911 Avatar

    Just checked the seller's feed back. He has mostly sold How to Crochet DVDs and hasn't bought anything on ebay since 2006?!?

    1. Robert Emslie Avatar
      Robert Emslie

      You think he'd throw in a free Crochet DVD with the purchase of the car? Because that may be the tipping point for some fence sitters.

  22. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    Striation? I see no racing stripes. Why…
    …oh. Right. Carry on.