Ecomobile that left Jeremy Clarkson speechless to be sold at auction
- Credit: ROWLEY'S ELY
A bizarre ‘Ecomobile’ that was essentially an enclosed motorcycle and left Jeremy Clarkson speechless is to go under the hammer at auction in Ely.
Designed by a madcap Swiss inventor, only 89 of the bizarre contraptions were ever made and the driver had to put down its stabilisers every time the machine came to rest.
When Jeremy Clarkson got his huge frame inside one for a TV review it was peculiar enough to render him speechless.
One of the few remaining versions is to be sold at Rowley’s Auction House on June 5.
They were built between 1984 and 2005 and like the Sinclair C5 was the solution to a problem that didn’t really exist.
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Built on aircraft aerodynamic principles the Ecomobile had a top speed of 150mph and carried two people, one behind the other – like an aircraft cockpit.
It has a small boot and came with a heater and stereo and the driver had four forward gears and reverse.
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Roddy Lloyd from Rowley’s said: “The model we are selling was made in 1995 and the vendor went across to Switzerland in 2005 to buy it from the inventor Arnold Wagner - and he managed to drive it back.
“Wagner wanted the fun of a motorbike with the comfort of a car, and to avoid the driver and passenger getting wet.
“They drive well and don’t feel like they are on two wheels – unless you come to a stop and forget to put the stabilisers down.
“We think there are only around five of these in the UK so the buyer will become part of an exclusive club.
“Ours was last driven three years ago and had an MoT and was taxed and insured. It is in a barn-find state and is likely to attract a variety of bidders.
“These cabin motorcycles were produced by Peraves in Switzerland and despite being based on aerospace technology failed to take off.
“However they are collectable as well as being great fun.”
The Ecomobile is 12ft (3.65m) long and four feet (1.25m) wide and has an estimate of £3,000-£5,000.