Another day, another drag race. This one’s a bit different as British publication Carwow orchestrated a matchup between three-wheelers going head-to-head in a quarter-mile sprint.
We’re aware that three wheels don’t exactly equate to fast cars – except maybe if you’re talking about a Vanderhall Venice Roadster or a Polaris Slingshot. Then again, those two high-powered three-wheelers weren’t the main characters of this race.
The first contender is called a Regal, which was manufactured by the Reliant Motor Company in the UK from 1953 to 1973. The model in the video was the van version, which makes around 37 horsepower from its 848cc engine – the most powerful of the bunch.
Next to the Regal on the starting grid was the smallest car in the world, the Peel P50. It makes a measly 4.2 hp from its tiny 49cc engine. The Peel was so small, its driver in the race barely fitted inside.
On the right side of the Peel was a Tuktuk, which was a common sight in Thailand when we drove the Ford Ranger there last year. Seeing it in the UK was bizarre.
Next to the Tuktuk was a Piaggio Ape, which was a classic-looking tricycle that looked better than it sounded. Both the Tuktuk and the Ape were as slow as the Peel.
The last three-wheeler on the far right was a BMW Isetta, which is something that we’re more familiar with. We saw one brought back to life last year and hit 45 miles per hour (72 kilometers per hour), so we had high hopes for that one.
That said, you’d probably think that it’s a tight race between the Regal and the Isetta, but it’s actually not. To partially spoil the results, the Regal won the race, completing the quarter mile in 22 seconds. The Peel didn’t even finish the race as its chain was continuously coming off at launch.
Given the numbers, the Regal actually averaged 41.6 mph (67 km/h) during its run. It was impressive and much faster than a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7… in reverse.