Like to stand out from the crowd? The perfect answer is something very small and very orange…
‘Refined and comfortable it isn’t, but you’ll be grinning too much to care’
Ask most people about their idea of a classic three-wheeler and it probably won’t be long before the name Del Trotter crops up. That’s thanks to his famously decrepit Reliant Regal Supervan, of course, but its Tamworth maker would be involved with a rather more extrovert imagining of the three-wheeled theme. The delightfully bonkers concept you see here sprung from the fertile imagination of Ogle Design’s Tom Karen, whose CV boasted everything from Reliant cars to the Raleigh Chopper bike.
Launched in June 1970, the Bug was a simple recipe comprising a steel chassis, glassfibre-reinforced bodywork, and much of the running gear from the Regal. Powered by a tiny 701cc alloy engine, power outputs were modest to say the least, with just 29bhp on offer for the 700E model (the ES got 31bhp, and the later 750E/ES a whopping 32bhp). The resulting staid performance was no bad thing, however, given the need for an element of caution in the handling department, although it’s not as scary as you might think. It also stops well, and the high-geared steering means quick responses around town, but none of that really matters to the sort of people attracted to this strange creation. What does is the size of the smile on the faces of anyone who comes into contact with the retina-searingly orange wedge. Less than £600 would have got you behind the diddy wheel of one when the Bug was new, but you’ll need a bit more than that today. In fact around ten times as much will bag a good one, and for sheer entertainment value it will be worth every penny. Refined and comfortable it isn’t, but you’ll be grinning too much to care.
Cabins don’t come any more basic than this, but owners love them.