During the 1970s, America was suffering through an oil embargo. Lots of small companies tried to enter the automotive market by focusing on gas mileage. Bob Keyes of Ventura, California looked at a study that found “93% of the vehicles on the freeways in Southern California were being driven with only a single occupant, the driver.” His thought that having a 3,500 pound vehicle to carry around about 180 pounds of human being was highly inefficient, so he created the TriVette. Between 1974 and 1978, just 27 examples were built. 2 used turbocharged VW motors, while the other 25 were powered by 58 horsepower 850cc Fiat motors. Here’s one of the more common Fiat-powered examples.
The TriVette was advertised of being capable of 61 miles per gallon thanks to a light curb weight and good aerodynamics. For more on the TriVette, check out this article on Vigillante, which was run by Bob Keyes before he passed away in 2006. This example (VIN: TCC751012) has 11,355 miles and it’s said to run perfectly. It’s had a lot of work done including an engine rebuild with new piston rings, rod bearings, water pump, muffler, gaskets, thermostat housing, valve job, refurbed rocker arm shaft and rocker arms, and plenty more.
Find this Trivette for sale here on Craigslist for $21,000 in Windsor Hills, California.