British Berkeley Project: 1950 Berkeley T60

070516 Barn Finds - 1960 Berkeley T60- 1

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This cheeky little devil is in Leicester, Leicestershire, United Kingdom and is listed on eBay. It’s a 1960 Berkeley T60 and yes, gasp; it only has three wheels! We all know that when a 3-wheeler has it’s single tire in the rear that’s a much better configuration, so no worries. The current bid price is £960 ($1,256) and there are 5 days left, which is actually 4 days with the conversion. No, wait, there is no conversion on days… (just kidding)

070516 Barn Finds - 1960 Berkeley T60- 3

This looks like – yes, I’m going to say it – a solid car! I know that I say that a lot, but I just always look on the bright side of life, or I try to. It could be an oxymoron to say that a Berkeley T60 that’s in need of a total restoration is a solid car, but this one looks the part. These are fiberglass bodies and the door and bonnet/hood lines look good and I don’t see any cracks anywhere. These cars have a unique derriere, there’s no question about that.

070516 Barn Finds - 1960 Berkeley T60- 2

The current owner has owned this car for four-and-a-half years and they aren’t going to get to the restoration so they’re letting it go. I wrote about a project Berkeley B95 a couple of weeks ago and Barn Finds resident British vehicle expert, Jamie, showed us a nice Berkeley T60 a couple of months ago that was listed for $11,900, and it still needed a bit of work! The price on this one seems reasonable, maybe even if a person had to have it shipped to the US.

070516 Barn Finds - 1960 Berkeley T60- 4

The T60 was only made from September of 1959 to December of 1960. These are rare cars, to say the least, with only around 1,800 of them made. The interior will need to be gone through, as you can see from the photos. This is a later car with bucket seats, and they’re in rough shape. But, you’ll take them out anyway to fix the inevitable rust in the steel chassis section.

070516 Barn Finds - 1960 Berkeley T60- 5

The front-wheel-drive T60 came with an air-cooled 328 cc Excelsior two-stroke, two-cylinder engine with 18 hp. These cars could be driven by folks with just a motorcycle license because of having just three wheels. A 60 mph top speed made for an interesting ride, I’m guessing. The T60 is such an unusual car that of course I’d love to have one. Have any of you ever driven a Berkeley T60, or a three-wheeler with this configuration of two wheels in the front and one in the rear?

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  1. DrinkinGasoline

    Ok, when it come to this one….let’s stay west of the pond, shall we?

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  2. brakeservo

    I’ve owned about a dozen Lomax Citroen 2CV three wheel conversions and found them to be very stable and very good handling albeit underpowered sports cars – or

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  3. Madbrit

    At one time the motorcycle license thing also included that the vehicle weighed less than 8 cwt (8 x 112 lbs) and had no reverse gear. Being a 2 stroke, this could be realized by having a second set of ignition points that allowed the engine to start backwards. The Messerschmidt had this system, not sure if the Berkeley did this or had the gearbox modified for reverse. To reverse some of the old Bond 3 wheelers, one had to get out and push it backwards and also had a kick start under the hood (bonnet). The engine was affixed to the steering single front wheel.

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  4. bcavileer

    After doing so many ‘big’ roadsters, i am tickled by this little ride. But i bet it is just as much work as the others… You will be tue only one at the show for sure.

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  5. brakeservo
    • Scotty GAuthor

      Ha, wow, what haven’t you owned, brakeservo? That may be an easier list to put together. Very impressive, sir, thanks for sharing.

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  6. brakeservo

    I am simply addicted to cars, when I cut my finger, I bleed gasoline . . . but a short list as my aging memory allows, Alfa, Armstrong-Siddeley, Aston-Martin, Austin,Austin Healey, Honda, Toyota, Audi, Bond, Bentley, BMW, Chaika, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Datsun,Dodge, Fiat, Ferrari,Ford, Gaz, , Isetta, Skoda, Tatra, Riley, Mini, Triumph, Jaguar, Opel, Volkswagon, Capri, Opel, Simca, Citroen, Rolls-Royce, LaDawri, Victress, Lomax,Pilgrim, Falcon (not a Ford, the other one) Ranger,LightSpeed, Porsche,Mercury, Plymouth, Pontiac, Cadillac, and other’s I’m sure I’m leaving out.

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    • brakeservo

      Left out Lancia . . . who knows what else??

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  7. billy de Hulst

    Berkeleys, pronouced BARKeleys by the Brits, were mostly junk. The two cylinder Excelsior engined ones didn’t have enough power to pull the skin off a grape and the three cylinder models couldn’t go 10,000 miles without needing a total rebuild.

    They did have the distinction of being the first Fiberglas monocoque production car.
    A distinction dishonestly claimed for Colin Chapman’s Lotus Elite. I have a couple of hilarious stories about my boss racing a 3 cylinder Bark. One involving him being pitched right out of the car into a blackberry patch after forgetting to do up his seat belt. The cornering attitude of the four wheeled versions, caused by front wheel drive and swing axles at both ends, put one in mind of a dog lifting its leg.

    The monocoque body/chassis is quite strong and very light. My son and I lifted a stripped out body/chassis over our heads with ease. I have a brand new body/chassis in my shop awaiting conversion to a rear wheel drive “Britceterini”, with tubular Lotus Elan/Spider front suspension; a Hillman Imp/Coventry climax 998cc engine and a yet to be sourced 5 speed gearbox. The rear suspension will be de Dion using a tubular sub-frame mounted Elan differential, with shortened Lotus half shafts and CV joints. All up weight should be less than 1,000 pounds with about 75 road going horsepower. I thought we could run it in a few drag races with a high pressure turbocharger… just for fun.

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  8. Minky

    I’ve just come across this page and was pleased to see one with the excelsior engine. They were a magic motor I owned one for a couple of years beautiful in the summer a bit cold in the winter roof let the rain in and I’m sure I got more than 60mph. I’m just sad I got rid of mine but it was the usual story not enough room to store and I passed my driving test and got four wheels.

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