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

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/seat/leon-cupra/202143/seat-leon-cupra-r-st-abt-review-spicy-spanish-dish-gets-even-more-sizzle
SEAT Leon Cupra

SEAT Leon Cupra R ST Abt review

50 horsepower boost puts extra pep in the Leon Cupra’s already athletic step
23 Jan 2020
Visit/dodge/202135/police-spec-dodge-charger-given-1500bhp-widebody-kit-and-awd
Dodge

Dodge Charger given 1500bhp, widebody kit and AWD 

US-based Speedkore Performance works its magic for one-off creation
22 Jan 2020
Visit/volkswagen/golf-gti/22866/new-volkswagen-golf-gti-to-be-revealed-at-geneva-motor-show-plus-new
Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf GTI to be revealed at Geneva motor show – plus new insight on the next Golf R

2020 VW Golf GTI returns in eighth-generation form at this year’s Geneva motor show
20 Jan 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019