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Corbin Motors

The Corbin Motor Company, California (USA) was formed on March 29th 1999 as a spin off company to The Corbin-Pacific company (Founded in 1996 by Mike Corbin). The Corbin Pacific company had been working on a single person electric vehicle since 1996 as well as globally supplying motorcycle seats, saddles and body styling. On April 12th 1999 their first 3-wheeler, “The Sparrow” passed its final testing for the Department of Transport and later that year the vehicle went into full production.

The Sparrow was designed by Mike Corbin and has an electric engine that is powered by thirteen 12 volt batteries that give a range of 40 to 60 miles on one battery pack charge. It will also run at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. The Sparrow has a Light weight mono-coque chassis that is constructed of high-tech composites for strength and passenger safety and at  just 4 feet wide and 8 feet long, it is as easy to park as a motorcycle. The Sparrow also features disk brakes on all 3-wheels. As the Sparrow is classed as a motorcycle this means that in the United States the Sparrow can use the car pool lane and in some states may also be exempt from road / bridge tolls.

Corbin Motors also designed a second 3-wheeler called the “Merlin” that was being developed along side an open topped “Roadster” which Corbin announced would be produced from 2002 though despite several test vehicles it never saw full production.

According to the Pinnacle News (Internet Edition) less than 300 Sparrows were made and many buyers never received their vehicles.  Of those sold many went back to the factory for repairs.  It also states that many customers paid a deposit to be the first to receive a Roadster off the production line but despite many beta models being produced the company filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy proceedings on March 31st 2003.  In August 2003 the key to the old Corbin Motors building was handed over to Ron Huch who used to be the former Corbin Motors company president as he was the only individual of more than a thousand creditors who filed a guaranteed $500,000 UCC lien against Corbin Motors just before the company went bankrupt.

In 2004 the Corbin Sparrow stock was acquired by Myers Motors.

Corbin Sparrow

The 2000 Sparrow (My thanks to Corbin Motors for allowing me to use this picture.)

The Merlin. Originally planned for 2002.

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