1904 Cyklon 3 1/2hp Cyklonette Tri-car  Chassis no. 42 Engine no. 42
Lot 214
1904 Cyklon 3 1/2hp Cyklonette Tri-car
Registration no. BS 8007
Sold for £29,900 (US$ 50,019) inc. premium
Lot Details
1904 Cyklon 3 1/2hp Cyklonette Tri-car
Registration no. BS 8007
Chassis no. 42
Engine no. 42


  • The ingenious Cyklonette was built by the Cyklon Maschinenfabrik GmbH in Berlin, whose earliest vehicles were motorcycles. Adopting a similar configuration to their motorcycles, with the engine mounted over the front wheel and driving the front wheel by chain, Cyklon introduced their first three-wheeler at the Leipzig Motor Show in 1902. The Cyklonette was aimed directly at the economy market and first time buyer and was powered by a 450cc single cylinder, air-cooled engine, the distinctive pierced metal coachwork with wickerwork detailing providing seating for 'ohne chauffeur und ohne mechaniker'. Equipped with wire wheels, steering is by tiller with ignition, mixture and throttle controls attached, requiring a certain amount of manual dexterity – but easily mastered. The gearing is by a simple Crypto gear on low speed and fixed drive on high speed with a twist action on the tiller to engage gears. Cooling is via a friction driven fan. The tri-car has the useful feature of being able to be driven from either the left or right seats. Carriage type C-springing at the rear provides the most comfortable ride and the car can achieve a speed of 25mph. At some stage in the vehicle's history the surface carburettor has been replaced by a more efficient and safer spray carburettor. Condition throughout is described as good. Later models were built with two-cylinder engines and some with four-seater coachwork and others with van bodies. That the concept survived and the Cyklon remained in production until 1922 is testimony to the Cyklon's undoubted success, despite its quirky appearance

    This Cyklon has a continuous history having been sold new to Sweden and was owned by the same family up to 1927 when it was laid up in a barn. Discovered by an English enthusiast in 1983 and found to be in very original condition, it was brought to England and restoration took place, the tri-car being re-liveried in its original black and red colour scheme. Over the next twenty years, in the hands of its new owner it took part successfully in many Sunbeam MCC Pioneer Runs and London to Brighton Runs. The vendor acquired the machine in 2005 and continued active participation in these two prestigious events. Certainly rare, it is believed by the vendor to be the only running example of the model in the world although a similar vehicle- car no. 69 - resides in the German National Museum. This tri-car is offered with a 1904 Sunbeam MCC Pioneer Certificate. We are advised that the VCC Dating procedure is actively ongoing with a recommended dating of 1904 being placed before the next dating meeting for approval.

    The Cyklonette offers a most economical way to participate in both the London to Brighton Run and the Pioneer Run with driver and passenger sat comfortably side by side, and without the driver needing to offer pedal assistance, and it is of course eligible for so many of the most popular events for single and twin cylinder cars.

Saleroom notices

  • An accompanying trailer is offerred with this lot and can be collected from the vendor in London by prior arrangement.
  1. Sholto Gilbertson
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 5809
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5802