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3-Wheeler Books

The A-Z of Three-Wheelers - A definitive reference guide

By Elvis Payne

Published by Crecy Publishing.    ISBN:  978 190834 7169


At a glance

Hardback 25cm x 25cm. 304 pages.

Over 470 colour / mono photos. Paperback

ISBN: 978 190834 7169

Price:  £21.95

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View / buy the book at Crecy Publishing


Key Points

• Comprehensive coverage of over 450 manufacturers and over 1000 models
• Early steam, petrol, diesel, natural gas, electric, solar and air powered vehicles
• Includes cars and trucks and invalid carriages
• 470 photographs many rare and unseen
• Introduction by Charles Morgan


Love them or loathe them the 3-wheeler, Cycle-car or even Tri-car, has had an important impact in the development of the present day motor car. From the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution to the Concept cars of the future, these vehicles can hold their headlamps up with pride. They were present at the birth of motoring and possibly may be the answer to the future with the constant depletion of the Earth’s energy resources.

The first self-propelled vehicle in the world was a steam powered 3-wheeler developed by Frenchman Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in 1769 with, over a century later in 1885, a Benz 3-wheeler being the first recognised machine to be powered by a gasoline engine.

From pioneering machines such as John Knight’s 1896 Petroleum Tricycle and Nazi scientist Count S. von Teleki’s WWII Bubble Puppy to the modern sporting vehicles of Razor Cars and the iconic Morgan 3 wheeler, this fascinating chronicle covers over 1000 models from more than 450 manufacturers.

Vehicles from such varied manufacturers as Allard Clipper, Brütsch, Heinkel, Singer and Zundapp, combine with the innovative 1933 Dymaxion built streamlined 3-wheeler, Daihatsu delivery trucks, the 1938 USA built Trimobile and Reliant’s much-loved Robin to bring to light the story of hundreds of remarkable 3-wheeled vehicles.

Organised by manufacturer including full details of all models and over 470 photographs, together with an introduction by Charles Morgan of the Morgan Motor Company, The A-Z of Three-Wheelers is a comprehensive guide to this classic mode of transport.


Independent Reviews


Post Publication Amendments

It’s beautiful! The best that’s ever been done. It covers the entire history of three-wheelers, beginning in the 1800’s and moving forward to the present. It’s organized alphabetically, rather than historically, which makes the publication interesting and relevant from cover to cover – for history buffs and present-day enthusiasts alike.

This is the first book of its kind in which key individuals that were directly associated with many of the vehicles were interviewed for inside information. Entries for vehicles like the Spi-Tri reveal new insights about various models, with information coming directly from those involved rather than rather relying on previously published material. In some cases (like the 1885 Butler Petrol Cycle) Edward Butler's great grand daughter helped with information. And even companies as large as GM have provided material from their archives. This makes the Acknowledgements page a virtual who’s who in the 3-wheeler world.

Robert Q Riley (Creator of the Trimuter, Tri-Magnum and XR3 Hybrid)

January 2015


I was very impressed with the content and feel of the book. I also found the editorial content interesting.

Barry Stimson (Creator of the Stimson Scorcher)

January 2015


I just purchased a copy of  A-Z three wheelers. Man that is an extensive reference book.

Denny Vincent (Co-creator of Trident 3-wheelers)

December 2014


I have been reading your book, and am most impressed. You have garnered a wonderful collection of photos, many of which I had not seen before, also some makes which I should have included in my Beaulieu Encyclopedia of The Automobile

Nick Georgano.  (Eminent motorist historian and journalist and also Editor of The Beaulieu Encyclopaedia of the Automobile)

April 2014


A tremendous effort and accomplishment to put this amazing history of three-wheelers into a beautiful book.

Diana Keyes (Bob Keyes - Creator of the TriVette & Vigillante)

April 2014


A very comprehensive, concise, and informative tome.

Jamieson G. DuRette (Creator of the IndyCycle)

April 2014


Brilliant piece of research

Charles Morgan. (Morgan Motor Company)

March 2014


I am very impressed.  Years of work (or is that decades?).  Top notch quality printing too .  Gorgeous!

Doug Malewicki (Inventor and creator of the California Commuter)

December 2013


Its fabulous!  Very well done.

John Fernley (Creator of the JBF Boxer)

December 2013





January 2014

Beautifully produced by Crecy Publishing, this large format book is packed with an amazing array of vehicles, both well-known and obscure and much painstaking research has clearly gone into it, typical of the detailed way Payne goes about things. He even had a life-threatening illness to contend with during the writing process, which he has thankfully fully recovered from.
I'm a fan of books of this type, of the three wheeler and of Elvis Payne's other work and this book does not disappoint and will form an essential part of my "go to" book shelf that I use for automotive reference purposes.
If you have an inkling of a liking for cars with three wheels then you must bag a copy of this book which represents superb value for money at just £21.99.
Elvis is certainly still in the building.


Classic Car Weekly


January 2014

Written by avid three-wheeler enthusiast Elvis Payne, this A-Z sparkles with well researched nuggets about these unloved, but necessary cars. It's a very correct book with marques such as Tempo listed under their full name, Vidal & Sohn Tempo-Werke GmbH. It's authoritative and cheap for a reference work of this quality.


Practical Classics


March 2014

A simple concept neatly done, this 304-page glossy f has the sort of production values that are usually reserved for high end exotica. Good photography, decent design and punchy insights... if you don't covert a Spi-Tri III after reading it, you are not human.


Rumcar News


March 2014

The range of vehicles ranges from 1769 up to the present day, and from invalid carriages to commercial vehicles, taking in land speed record vehicles on the way. The book spans the complete subject from top to bottom. ...The feel and look of the book is excellent, more like a coffee table book than a work of reference.


Vintage Sports Car Club of America


April 2014

All things considered, the three hundred oversize pages contain a plethora of three wheeler intelligence and are well worth the space on any enthusiast's bookshelf .... It is a work long overdue and greatly appreciated.


Hemmimgs Classic Car (USA)


June 2014

This “definitive reference guide” profiles all three-wheel vehicles ever made throughout the world. More than we realized, there are many American-built three-wheelers, with Cushman being the most popular. Among its 304 pages, each manufacturer is profiled with at least one photo, usually its most popular car; however, the information provided is fairly brief, with some builders only receiving a single paragraph. As a reference guide and not a history book, that’s to be expected.  The text is well written, and the information worthy enough to make this a useful addition to your library.


Motorcycle Classics (USA)


May /June 2014

The A-Z of Three-Wheelers is a fun and informative look at three-wheelers produced over the last century.


Reviews via web sites:

Via Crecy Publishing web site:


Harry Kraemer

5th. February, 2014

As a three wheel vehicle enthusiasts and owner I will say that this is one of the best books on three wheelers that I have seen. It is a must have reference book for my library. It is well laid out with very nice pictures. The text is long enough the cover the facts about each vehicle and short enough to be interesting. Job well done. I ordered 4 of them.



Fred Veenschoten

7th January 2014

I was delighted with the quality of this book. The photos are sharp and crisp as is the content. This is a great resource book for those interested in three wheel cars.


Via Amazon.com web site:


A welcome addition to our library of strange auto history, engineering, and art

5th March 2014


By Carolyn S. Trigueiro


A large part of our library is dedicated to transportation history and curiosities (basically a history cultivated by my own seventy years between 1943 to the present that was comprised of new, used, war-surplus, as well as the auto wrecking-yards of the Los Angeles area of the late Forties and early Fifties). When Elvis Payne committed himself to the task of producing this book on his website, 3-wheelers.com, I anticipated, and eventually purchased, a missing compendium of my favorite transportation oddities, the three-wheeled car. I will be pleased to enthusiastically recommend the book to others when the subject arises. [E.E.Mohr]



A welcome addition to our library of strange auto history, engineering, and art

17th February 2014


By Lee Stohr


This book covers the history of three wheel cars almost entirely in color on glossy paper. Very early three wheeler photos are in black and white, obviously. The description of each manufacturer is short, but it has to be to keep the price and length reasonable. A great introductory guide to the three wheeler world.


Via Amazon.co.uk web site:


Very good job!

9th Jan 2014


By Ach Choursoglou (Greece)


Congratulations Elvis ! Although waiting a long time before receive the book (due to additions of last moment) the result is very satisfactory.  A lot of pictures and relative information, covers a very big number of 3-wheelers all over the world.



Could not put it down!

21st Jan 2014


By Tandyfan


Got to say, what an excellent book, can hardly put it down. A fantastic achievement. The picture of the author and his son in the Morgan at the beginning of the book really encapsulates the enthusiasm the author has for all things three-wheeled and that the book should be a lasting legacy the whole family can be proud of.

Really impressed with the quality of the pictures, many seem better than the originals! and that there are many I have never seen before even of vehicles I had heard of previously.

Even as a lifelong car fan, I was still staggered at the variety of three-wheeled vehicles past and present that are described within a thoroughly enjoyable and educational book. Excellently researched and compiled a credit to all concerned, thoroughly recommended.



Book Review

11th Jan 2014


By Geofffrey


A great book for all things three wheel, So many manufacturers included so I never even knew were around and some great pictures of cars passed and present that have never been seen before. Elvis has a great way of writing and if your into your cars this book is well worth having in your collection




18th Jan 2014


By John Wilson-Hall


Brilliant book. Very good for reference and will stay on my bookshelf as a useful research tool. well done Elvis


Via Amazon.fr web site:


Ouvage magnifique

24th December 2013


Par Anonymel


Après une rupture de stock justifiée, mon ouvrage est arrivé juste avant Noel. Cet ouvrage est magnifique et il comble un vide où aucun guide n'existait jusqu'à présent ! Une véritable référence !!


Via Amazon.de web site:


3-Rad-Fahzeuge 1769 > 2019

1st February 2014


Von Frank-uwe Wollenberg


Auf annähernd 300 Seiten gibt es eine alphabetische Zusammenstellung der wichtigsten Hersteller dieser Fahrzeuggattung, sowie ihrer Zukunftsplanung, soweit die Firmen noch existieren.
Was in deutscher Sprache im vergangenen Jahrhundert mehrfach begonnen und abgebrochen bzw im Ergebnis von den namhaften Verlagen abgelehnt wurde, liegt nun, aus GB kommend, in englisch vor.
Anders, als in bereits vorher aus GB bekannten Werken (zu 3-Rad- bzw Micro-Cars), muss man beim nun <250 Jahre berücksichtigenden Werk nicht ebenfalls befürchten, das den Inlands-Firmen bis zu 2/3 des Inhaltes gewidmet und alle sonstigen (Länder/Kontinente) bestenfalls in wenigen Sätzen erwähnt werden.
Mag es auch keine annähernd vollständige Enzyklopädie sein, ein erfreulich umfassender Überblick zum Thema ist garantiert und erleichtert so, wo gewünscht, die Suche nach Ergänzungs-Informationen bzw -Literatur.




21st December 2013


Von Lars Be


I have been waiting to get my hands on this book since my visit of the publisher stand at the frankfurt book fair in oktober!
We are currently building a pedal driven 2 seat 4 wheeler with articulated-frame steering - so this book is a must-have for us!



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