AN ALTERNATIVE WAY TO ENJOY THE OPEN ROAD!
Looking like something from Wacky Races the three wheeled Vanderhall Venice reminds us that driving doesn't have to be limited to just four or even three wheels
When most of us think of three-wheeled vehicles, the conventional trike comes to mind. Commonly referred to as a delta design, it is basically a motorcycle with two rear wheels, and one front wheel, combined to create a bit more stability than a conventional motorcycle and negating the need to balance. These have been around since almost the beginning of vehicle development when manufacturers were looking for lighter, cheaper and in some cases, ways to avoid taxation on larger, four-wheel automobiles. They come in such a variety of styles and shapes (homemade to mass produced), that the only common factor among trikes/delta platform vehicles is that they share an unfortunate characteristic; they have a high center of gravity and become unstable under certain circumstances if not paying attention to speed and terrain.
Along came the reverse-trike, sometimes referred to as a tadpole configuration which also appeared quite early in the development of motorcycles. In 1909, Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan built his single-seater, rear-wheel drive, runabout. The stability problem was somewhat mitigated, cornering became smoother and handling improved dramatically over the traditional layout. This isn’t to say that Morgan had eliminated all of the idiosyncrasies that are common to three-wheelers. As with all great inventors, research and development continued through multiple models and of course, many other enterprises developed their own vehicles as well.
Enter Steve Hall. From his earliest days his mother says she remembers a distinct and abiding zest for all things motorized. Hall had a deep passion for all things motorsports and owned a very successful exotic and luxury vehicle dealership, however,something was missing. He felt that the day of the driver being one with the machine, the open cockpit and feel of the road may have been lost somewhere along the way. There are of course many convertibles, ground hugging cars and a few reverse trikes that evoke a similar feeling but it was not quite there. That undefinable factor was eluding him. How do you take the style of the open-wheeled, roll-bar hooped race cars of the past and update them with modern drivetrain, suspension, electrical components and safety features? In other words, build a vehicle that nods to the past while advancing into the future at the same time.
Hall embarked on a journey that would create something uniquely his and that in the true sense of the word would be timeless. This initial foray was solely personal. As he stands at an imposing 6’6”, there are not many exotic vehicles that will accommodate his frame comfortably. But as time passed and the research and development progressed through a number of iterations, the passion of creation lead Hall to focus not just on himself, but creating a vehicle for resell.
He founded his company, Vanderhall, in 2010 in Provo, Utah, and set out to make his vision a reality. He worked at creating a three-wheeled hybrid auto-cycle prototype to determine the best stable three-wheel driving experience ever. Multiple engine types were tried but the correct combination of power and torque eluded him, until 2012 – when his three-wheeled prototype switched to front-wheel drive, where with increased traction and 70/30 weight distribution, stability and handling improved.
2012 was also the year where Vanderhall added to a new two-seater model, providing a passenger option. By 2014-2015, traditional motorcycle engines were replaced with the 1.4L Turbo engine that is in use today and Laguna was born.
This small but mighty model has the power and torque to launch off the line quickly and keep you motoring efficiently to your hearts’ content. The power to weight ratio is about as good as it gets with just the right amount of horsepower to frighten. The other vital component, and one crucial to the superb handling, is the pushrod suspension. Inspired by the race track, it is completely unique to this type of vehicle. Its function allows the driver to “feel” the road and move with the curves while maintaining a precision unequalled in handling, cornering and braking. Five years of dedication and untold hours of testing ensured that Hall had the vehicle that not only he wanted, but that the savvy consumer would want as well.
In 2017 Vanderhall released the Venice, a simplified model with 180hp and a composite body priced at $29,950 for the standard model and $26,950 for the Speedster Model and in 2020 the company plans to launch its EV, electronic vehicle, called the Edison.
For more information visit Vanderhall