Features

Ask Goodwin - What’s the oddest car that you’ve ever owned?

It was never going to be conventional, but Goodwin has surpassed himself with this revelation.

What’s the oddest car that you’ve ever owned? - Anthony Simpson, Belfast

Technically, it wasn’t actually a car. Many years ago I was trying to get shot of a clapped out Suzuki GT550 bike (the three-pot stroker). A bloke who lived locally, who I’d previously outed a Norton Commando to, said that he’d like the Suzuki but didn’t have any money and wondered if I fancied swopping it for something a bit unusual. It transpired that this unusual machine was a three wheeler called an AF Spider.

The car was powered by a Mini engine complete with gearbox and front subframe. The chassis was a wooden monocoque, at least I think it was because this was well over 30 years ago. At the back was a single wheel suspended by a sort of swingarm arrangement. It looked a little bit like a pre-war Morgan three-wheeler. The bonnet, which was in yellow painted fibreglass, looked a similar shape to a Morgan’s and was simply attached to the chassis with spring clips. 

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

There was barely any interior, just a couple of bucket seats and a bare minimum of gauges and switches. The Spider, as delivered, was a non-runner. I was not bad with the spanners back then, but the main problem was the electrics. Then, as now, I considered volts and amps the work of the devil. Many friends would come around and take the mickey out of my three-wheeler, so the incentive to get it running and onto the road where the general population could take the piss, was not great. Besides, there was a good chance that I’d have spannered myself in it because it would have been quite quick.

Anyway, the punchline is that eventually, due to parental complaints, I had to move it on. I advertised it in the Exchange & Mart (remember that?) and almost as soon as that issue hit the shelves a bloke rang and offered me £125 for it. I bit his hand off. Over 50 phone calls later I realised I’d seriously undersold the car. People were offering me £500 more for it over the blower. Apparently only a few had been made and had quite a following.

Most Popular

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car
News

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car

Over a decade after SSC last entered the record books, its Tuatara has claimed the title of world’s fastest production car
19 Oct 2020
Hot Cupra Formentor spied testing – with a five-cylinder warble
Cupra

Hot Cupra Formentor spied testing – with a five-cylinder warble

Is Cupra about to get hold of Audi’s brilliant five-cylinder petrol engine?
19 Oct 2020
Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot
Alpine

Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot

Heated-up Renaults but no A110 replacement for Alpine as it follows in Cupra and Abarth footsteps
21 Oct 2020
Car pictures of the week
Lotus Elise

Car pictures of the week

In this week’s car pictures, from issue 279, we look at the highlights from our lightweight sports car triple test
23 Oct 2020