“So often the pure joy of driving comes from simply driving alone,” says Steve Hall, CEO of Utah-based Vanderhall Motor Works. Which is why he has just unveiled a new single-seat Speedster version of his low-slung Vanderhall Venice three-wheeler.
“It’s a car for those times you just have to say, ‘Hey, I’ve just worked 12 hours straight. I’m going to get out on the road and clear my head. I don’t need anyone else with me. It’s just me,’” explains Hall.
Harking back to the days of 1960s British roadsters, where a so-called “tonneau” cover would be clipped over the passenger side, this new Vanderhall Speedster replaces canvas with a streamlined composite panel with striking shark-gill openings.
In true Speedster style, the windshield has been cut down by almost 50 percent compared to the standard Venice screen and now features stainless-steel uprights instead of aluminum. And behind the driver’s head, there’s now a taller aero section beneath the single roll hoop to accentuate the single-seater look.
“Of course, one of the added bonuses of not having a passenger seat is that the space now becomes a huge storage area for bags,” Hall says. “The Speedster now makes a highly practical tourer.”
Other exterior changes include new powder-coated, satin black 18-inch wheels, in place of the machine-finished rims, and nose-to-tail racing stripes. Hall also has plans to offer retro-style race numbers for the Speedster’s hood or tonneau. Also distinguishing the Speedster will be Silver Vintage metallic paint and Saxony Brown upholstery.
Mechanically, the Speedster is unchanged from the two-seat Venice model. Power comes from a GM-sourced, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder making 180 hp. It drives the front wheels via a GM six-speed automatic with manual sequential shifting.
One further bonus of deleting the passenger seat is price. When the new Speedster goes into production toward the end of this year, it will cost $26,950. That’s a $3,000 savings over the two-seat Venice.