THE WORLD’S MOST STUPID TRICYCLE?
This is a wonderful ‘white elephant’ vintage vehicle, so described because it is not particularly stable when you ride it. In theory, two wheels at the front should make a tricycle easier to ride. But when the wheels are small, as in this contraption, they are more affected by adverse road conditions – ie you need to hold on tight if you hit a rock. Also, unless the machine is well-maintained, there’s a danger of the steering jamming at full travel. Of course, all these adversities add up to its ‘white elephant’ status and make it very collectible half a century later.
1956 Harding Two-Wheel Steering Tricycle
Sturmey-Archer ‘AB’ Three Speed Gears
Rear Brake + Rear Hub Brake
This quirky tricycle could do with a service before being ridden. It was previously on display for many years in a museum.
R.A HARDING (Bath) Ltd
19, Lower Bristol Rd, Bath, Avon
R.A. Harding was based in Bath, well-established pre-war as a manufacturer of ‘bath chairs.’ The company was established in 1921 by Mr. J. Gordon and Mr. E. Loxley. For the company, they used the maiden name of Mr. Loxley’s wife. In the early years, they made a greater variety of invalid carriages than any other manufacturer. By 1930 they offered eight different models. They built invalid carriages for the government during WW2, but found it hard to compete with AC when that company moved into the market. Their motorized tricycles ceased production by the early 1950′s, though their tricycle range continued.
Like Kendrick of Reading, they also dabbled with TWS (Two-Wheeled Steering) tricycles, though the Harding models had 18″ front wheels. In the Magic Wheel magazine of July 1954, they announced their new Harding ‘Model C’ TWS tricycle with a Cyclemaster engine fitted.