BSA 1934 TW 34-10 “Special Sports” three wheeler 1075cc four cylinder water cooled side valve chassis # F6804D engine # F1689L
In the late twenties the BSA company no doubt examined all the layout permutations when they decided to enter the light car/three wheeler market, then dominated by the Morgan. Two wheels at the front was the popular configuration at that time, but driving through a single rear wheel did mean a “motorcycle” type assembly and a heavy driving load on the single tyre. Front wheel drive offered an easily detachable rear wheel with no oily chains – a sales “plus”.
In November 1929 the BSA three wheeler appeared. BSA designers introduced innovations such as a reverse gear, electric start and full weather protection. Independent front suspension was another benefit resulting from the FWD layout and ‘Motor Cycle’ of the day said ‘The details of this vehicle are of such interest that it may be said to mark a milestone in the history of the light runabout’.
The engine in the BSA three wheeler was based on the Hotchkiss-designed 900 air cooled V-twin (1021cc). This allowed the car to be kept within the 8cwt (406 kg) weight taxation limit for three wheelers. From 1933 also a four cylinder water cooled engine was offered with bore x stroke dimensions of 60x95mm. All models were equipped with a 3-speed gearbox plus reverse.
(Adapted from BSA front wheel drive club, www. bsafwdc.org)
Although the BSA three-wheeler never achieved the popularity of its great rival the Morgan, its ingenious design had many good points, not least of which was its chassis layout. Few cars in the late 1920s were front-wheel driven, even fewer had independent front suspension, yet the little BSA had both. For 1934 five models were available, four with the 9 hp twin cylinder and one with the 9 hp four cylinder side valve sports engine. All models had an aluminium panelled body.
The Special Sports we present here has been restored by a Dutch enthusiast in the early 80s and has had only a few owners since; the last keeper owned the BSA for about 30 years. During the restoration process both front wheels got disc brakes to comply with Dutch regulations of independent brakes on all wheels. The engine was overhauled in the nineties. The trike has been used mostly for relatively short trips; the longest was to a BSA rally in Britain where folks were enthusiastic about the brake conversion. Major improvements that were made over the years include stainless steel spokes, new water pump, external oil filter, new brake lines and blocks, 12 volt regulator, vacuum gauge on manifold and water temperature gauge. The BSA has seen little use the last few years but is a good runner. The seat upholstery has seen better times.
She comes with tonneau cover, extensive technical information from the BSA Front Wheel Drive Club, two new tyres and two boxes of spares.