Build the Economy Champ:3-WHEEL SUBURBANRUNABOUT
Fig. 1. The photo o! the Incomplete Run-about above shows Its Inner structure.It'll go 30 mph getting 90 miles/gallon.
• This small, easily-built runaboutlooked good when it was first intro-duced in
back in 1961, when gasoline sold for abouttwo bits a gallon. Today, with the costof the fuel about $1.30 a gallon and noend in sight to its spiralling price, thecar represents an idea whose time hascome.Fuel economy? With its 3.5 - HPClinton engine, the runabout will reacha respectable 30 miles per hour, andat this speed use less than 1.5
of gas for each hour run, which repre-sents about 90 miles to the gallon.This is a one-person vehicle you canuse for trips to the commuter trainstation, or your wife can use it for hershopping trips. You sit in a comfortablypadded seat that is suspended on 44shock-absorbing rubbers that isolateyou from road bumps and vibration.Steering is controlled by a lever, andstart and speed is controlled by amotorcycle handle bar throttle grip onthe steering lever. Brake is controlledby a motorcycle hand brake lever. Noneof the driving controls are operated bythe feet. If it takes you longer thanthree minutes to leam how to drive it,it's because you are so enthusiastic toget going you haven't had time to payattention to what's happening.Even with all parts purchased new,this runabout should cost less than$700, including the weatherproof cab.Check the license requirements in yourarea before driving on public streets;some states require lights, hom, fen-ders and the like.The basis of the car is the Clintonengine, a ball-bearing, horizontal shaftmodel that is an improvement on theone used in the 1961 car. It developsits 3.5 rated horsepower at 3,600 RPM.A centrifugal clutch connects the en-gine to the single drive wheel via a jack shaft, with chain drive. All theparts you need for the drive system,includ'ng the wheels, can be obtainedthrough major automotive supplyhouses, small engine shops, motorcycleshops, and hardware stores that caterto industrial and fanning needs. Thebest bet is to show your supplier theseplans so that he can provide.you withthe correct components. Note that youmay have to change bolt hole locationsfor mounting some of the componentssuch as the pillow block assembly.The steel material needed can bepurchased from a steel supplier likeRyerson, which has outlets locatedthroughout the country. Cost of thematerial itself, based on per-foot andper-pound prices, should be less than$60. See if the supplier has randompieces in stock that are somewhatlonger than what you need; this willbe cheaper than paying $20 for eachpiece that must be cut from standardstock. You could wind up paying asmuch as about $160 in cutting charges.