Our custom built, Celerio SZ3-Wheel

Several months ago, our resident graphic/web designer had an idea - one which would combine our company’s love for both cars and motorcycles. A, one-of-a-kind vehicle. The idea impressed our Managing Director Robin Appleyard, so much - that he turned it into a project for our senior mechanic (Mick) at our Suzuki Keighley car branch, and our Trike conversion specialist (Gary) at our motorcycle branch.

The project was to convert an existing vehicle into one that could be used by both car drivers and motorcyclists. Did you know that you don’t need a car driving license to drive a 3-wheel car? A full motorcycle license will do the trick.

In the 1970s, an icon was born. One that took northern England and popular culture by storm. It was a staple feature in Only Fools and Horses and you would struggle to find a person who couldn’t tell you what it was from its unconventional and unique look.

The Reliant Robin. Produced in several versions spanning 30 years, it is the second most popular fibreglass car in history, and it had just 3 wheels.

Minors in the north of England bought the Reliant Robin because of its B1-category licensing, which meant they could drive it with their motorbike licenses, and it allowed them to stay warm while working in cold conditions. As such, the Reliant Robin became hugely popular and even the American embassy ran 3 of them for diplomatic reasons!

With the above in mind and our love for vehicles, we decided to revive a classic. This project would test the skills of both Mick and Gary, to build a car that was not just usable and reliable, but safe.

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We chose to convert the UKs cheapest car to run – the Suzuki Celerio. However it wasn’t going to be as easy as removing one of the front wheels and bolting it to the middle, the Celerio needed to have its chassis rebuilt from the ground up. The perfect choice of chassis for the Celerio was the Suzuki Jimny, a true workhorse. The chassis of the Jimny had the structure and rigidity required to support the wheel change at the front. This then would need to be modified to fit the body of the Celerio.

It took Mick and Gary a total of 3 months to complete the project, but we’re amazed at the result. This one-of-a-kind vehicle can be driven by our car and bike staff alike - regardless of their license. Our managing director, Robin, said of the project “when we set about creating a 3 wheeled car, we didn’t realise the challenges that would be involved. Credit to Mick and Gary who have pulled it off spectacularly. I’ve driven the car, and it feels just like the old Reliant Robin - you need to be careful around those corners!”

Robin is currently undecided whether the car will be put up for sale, it is a feat of engineering for Colin Appleyard after all. However, if he does change his mind, and you want to put your name on the list to own this unique, one-of-a-kind car, then you can sign up below.

[Happy April Fools]


Image credit: Steve Horsfall (www.stevehorsfall.com)