Automotive

Vanderhall's new Speedster three-wheeler targets lone wolves headed for the open road

Vanderhall's new Speedster thr...
Man sits next to Vanderhall Speedster looking windswept and interesting, but he can't take you home no matter how impressed you are
Man sits next to Vanderhall Speedster looking windswept and interesting, but he can't take you home no matter how impressed you are
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Vanderhall Speedster: wooden steering wheel
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Vanderhall Speedster: wooden steering wheel
Vanderhall Speedster: gearstick operates much like a set of sequential shift paddles for the auto transmission
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Vanderhall Speedster: gearstick operates much like a set of sequential shift paddles for the auto transmission
Vanderhall Speedster: single rear wheel looks terrific
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Vanderhall Speedster: single rear wheel looks terrific
Vanderhall Speedster: the long, low profile of a 60s racer
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Vanderhall Speedster: the long, low profile of a 60s racer
Vanderhall Speedster: lone wolf touring on three wheels
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Vanderhall Speedster: lone wolf touring on three wheels
Vanderhall Speedster: loses the passenger seat for solo touring
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Vanderhall Speedster: loses the passenger seat for solo touring
Vanderhall Speedster: fat 285-section rear tire
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Vanderhall Speedster: fat 285-section rear tire
Vanderhall Speedster: narrower than a car, wider than a motorcycle
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Vanderhall Speedster: narrower than a car, wider than a motorcycle
Vanderhall Speedster: it'll be hard to get "lone man on lonely road" photos like these, because you can't bring a passenger to shoot them
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Vanderhall Speedster: it'll be hard to get "lone man on lonely road" photos like these, because you can't bring a passenger to shoot them
Vanderhall Speedster: 1.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder motor from GM
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Vanderhall Speedster: 1.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder motor from GM
Man sits next to Vanderhall Speedster looking windswept and interesting, but he can't take you home no matter how impressed you are
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Man sits next to Vanderhall Speedster looking windswept and interesting, but he can't take you home no matter how impressed you are
Vanderhall's interesting three-wheel open top roadsters have a nice vintage flavor about them
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Vanderhall's interesting three-wheel open top roadsters have a nice vintage flavor about them
Vanderhall Speedster: 0-60 mph in somewhere around 4.5 seconds, so they're fairly zippy
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Vanderhall Speedster: 0-60 mph in somewhere around 4.5 seconds, so they're fairly zippy
On the road in a Vanderhall Speedster
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On the road in a Vanderhall Speedster

Utah's Vanderhall has dropped its latest three-wheel open-top roadster at the Sturgis Rally. Based on the Venice, the Speedster deletes the passenger seat for a lone wolf touring experience in which you literally cannot be accused of trying to pick up.

The Speedster is US$3,000 cheaper than the Venice, and otherwise looks very, very similar. They share the same GM 1.4-liter, inline four-cylinder turbo engine, making a decent 180 hp (134 (kW) and 185 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque for a 0-60 mph (96 km/h) time of around 4.5 seconds.

They share the same six-speed clutch-to-clutch hydra-matic GM auto transmission, with a sequential shift lever, and much of the same aluminum body design, the same 18-inch wheels, including that 285-section fatty at the back.

Vanderhall Speedster: loses the passenger seat for solo touring
Vanderhall Speedster: loses the passenger seat for solo touring

Both have snap-on tonneau covers for when it's raining, as well as riotous 400-watt stereos to blast bluesy road-trip tunes over the roar of the wind. Both have wooden steering wheels, heated seats and a head-turning look like a KTM X-Bow mated with a 1960s Formula One car.

The key, glaring difference is that passenger seat – or the lack thereof. On the Speedster, the entire right hand side of the cabin is gone, covered over with a dirty big sheet of metal.

We've been trying to figure out why the hell you'd want one of these instead of the two-seater – after all, nobody's forcing you to take a passenger along in your Venice. You can just as easily go out on a solo road trip with your backpack on the passenger seat, and still have something you can zoom your star-struck nephews around in when they come through town.

Vanderhall Speedster: wooden steering wheel
Vanderhall Speedster: wooden steering wheel

Unless, of course, your significant other has an active imagination, and sees a second seat as a pathway straight to divorce. Lone wolf rocks up to a quiet bar in strange town, driving a curiosity like the Vanderhall Venice and looking all windswept and interesting? No way he's heading back to his hotel room with that passenger seat empty. That must be it!

If that's a problem in your relationship, you can now get yourself a Speedster, point pleadingly at the conspicuous lack of passenger seat, and leave your driveway guilt-free.

The Speedster will be open for pre-orders soon at a retail price of US$26,950. The Venice will run you US$29,950. Those are seriously great prices for boutique three-wheelers like these, and the driving experience should be absolutely terrific.

Check out a teaser video below.

Source: Vanderhall

The Vanderhall Venice Speedster Series Trailer

5 comments
kwalispecial
Maybe I'm just too practical, but if they are going to stick the driver to the left side and just sheet metal over the passenger seat, they should have at least put a hinge on it and turned it into a trunk on that side of the car. On the other hand, if they are going to enforce the idea of having no people and no storage, they should have moved the seat and controls to the center; if it is going to be a strict solo-experience, aesthetically and as a practical matter, I'd rather drive from the middle.
Martin Hone
I agree with Kwalispecial. I also think it would make a great club day race car. But really, they took an inline 4-cylinder 'car' to Sturgis ?
Daishi
@kwalispecial It's not fully enclosed but it does look like the passenger seat area can be used for storage.
Johannes
Driver even looks a bit like Peter Fonda...
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is neat. I agree, either make the right side a cargo area or put the driver in the middle. It just makes more sense that way. Perhaps they could create a cloth / rag top for inclement weather? one that can snap on / off?