CC Capsule: 1976 Tri-Magnum Prototype

(first posted 12/28/2011)    Lurking behind the shop where I found the ’67 Tempest and Kellison GT was this little piece of vintage seventies ‘forgotten fiberglass’. It rang some sort of distant bell, one whose peal was highly dulled by the accumulated fuzz of the decades since. But the proprietor must have seen me looking a bit stumped, and rescued me from my almost-senior moment. “It’s a Tri Power; more specifically, the very first one, the prototype”. Ah yes! Stupid me, how could I forget? Tri Power indeed.

Well, it looks somehow familiar, like something one read about in the back pages of C/D or M/T. Yet all the googling I’ve done turns up zilch. Undoubtedly, one of you has a better memory. This may well be the only story on this on the web, so let’s get it right. (Update: Yes, our all-knowing commentators have identified this as a Tri-Magnum, and it does well look like this could be #1)

Trikes were the hot new thing in the seventies, owing to several reasons. It was the decade to be individualistic, and what better vehicle to let your shaggy mane get a good airing than in a trike.

Another reason was the ready availability of donor-cycles with large enough of engines to power them. This one sports the very popular Kawasaki 1000 under its Star-Wars influenced body work. That probably hadn’t been released yet, so more likely it was Star Trek.

And a safety bumper. That was so 1976! The front suspension is from that other ubiquitous donor-mobile, a VW Beetle. A marriage made in heaven, especially since so many trikes were also built the other way around: VW rear ends with motorcycle front ends. So efficient, nothing is wasted. I’m looking at a particular CC contributor.

The interior is bare fiberglass right now. But according to my source here, he tells me it’s just about to be redone, and looking like a duck. Yes, he says it will be turned into a rolling mascot of some sort for the Oregon Ducks football team, and driven unto the field at Autzen Stadium. Stay tuned.