Man sits next to Vanderhall Speedster looking windswept and interesting, but he can’t take you home no matter how impressed you are
Utah’s Vanderhall has dropped its latest three-wheel open-top roadster at the Sturgis Rally. Based on the Venice, the Speedster deletes the passenger seat for a lone wolf touring experience in which you literally cannot be accused of trying to pick up.
The Speedster is US$3,000 cheaper than the Venice, and otherwise looks very, very similar. They share the same GM 1.4-liter, inline four-cylinder turbo engine, making a decent 180 hp (134 (kW) and 185 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque for a 0-60 mph (96 km/h) time of around 4.5 seconds.
They share the same six-speed clutch-to-clutch hydra-matic GM auto transmission, with a sequential shift lever, and much of the same aluminum body design, the same 18-inch wheels, including that 285-section fatty at the back.
Both have snap-on tonneau covers for when it’s raining, as well as riotous 400-watt stereos to blast bluesy road-trip tunes over the roar of the wind. Both have wooden steering wheels, heated seats and a head-turning look like a KTM X-Bow mated with a 1960s Formula One car.
The key, glaring difference is that passenger seat – or the lack thereof. On the Speedster, the entire right hand side of the cabin is gone, covered over with a dirty big sheet of metal.
We’ve been trying to figure out why the hell you’d want one of these instead of the two-seater – after all, nobody’s forcing you to take a passenger along in your Venice. You can just as easily go out on a solo road trip with your backpack on the passenger seat, and still have something you can zoom your star-struck nephews around in when they come through town.
Unless, of course, your significant other has an active imagination, and sees a second seat as a pathway straight to divorce. Lone wolf rocks up to a quiet bar in strange town, driving a curiosity like the Vanderhall Venice and looking all windswept and interesting? No way he’s heading back to his hotel room with that passenger seat empty. That must be it!
If that’s a problem in your relationship, you can now get yourself a Speedster, point pleadingly at the conspicuous lack of passenger seat, and leave your driveway guilt-free.
The Speedster will be open for pre-orders soon at a retail price of US$26,950. The Venice will run you US$29,950. Those are seriously great prices for boutique three-wheelers like these, and the driving experience should be absolutely terrific.