As with most projects, it is always easier to keep it going if you do it with somebody else. It would be a great project for them to do together, or even better if they made one each. Why build one when you can build two? Makes perfect sense, really. So, in 1984, Ron purchased a wrecked Honda CB750 (now a classic in its own right) from Whangarei, and Pip a 750cc Suzuki. The two bikes were the most expensive single part of the build. The VW front suspension was quite easy to obtain.
formed. The foam proved to be light, reasonably flexible, and easy to sand, but not very strong. This was found out by Ron’s cat when it jumped from the roof rafters — rather than landing gracefully on the body, it left a cat-shaped hole, landing in the cockpit. In a panic, it clawed its way out, making the hole even bigger. Needless to say, when Ron discovered the hole, he pondered how many cat lives it was worth. After a day or four he calmed down. The hole was patched up, and the cat lived on blissfully unaware of just how lucky it was. Still, it never went anywhere near the car again.
The major advantage of using the foam was that the front of the car could be reshaped so that it could be road legal in New Zealand. In the US, it is OK to have a Perspex windscreen on a motorbike, and, as the car is classified as a motorbike in most states, the Tri-magnum could be registered with a simple Perspex windscreen. New Zealand has a more stringent set of rules, and, because it had a steering wheel, it was classified as a car, so would need seatbelts, a laminated glass windscreen, wipers, etc. The cost of getting suitable curved glass made for it was prohibitive, so both Pip and Ron opted for a simple flat windscreen, which, although it detracted a little from the Tri-magnum’s looks, would, as they discovered later, make the fitting of the single windscreen wiper very simple. Fortunately, the foam was an excellent medium for making these changes, as it could be shaped with nothing more technological than sandpaper on a block of wood. Once covered in fibreglass, it became extremely rigid.
Most of the other mechanical components were either sourced from wreckers or made by hand. The plans required that Datsun 260Z side
Ron’s Tri-magnum was finished by the end of 1991; Pip’s car would not be finished until the following year, as he wanted to perfect the detailing such as the ventilation and rain protection.
It was during 1991 that I first saw the cars, and I even managed to get a ride in Ron’s. At