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German Find: 1940 Ostner Delivery Trike


What is it? This is a delivery trike from 1940, manufactured by the Ostner factory in Dresden, Germany. This one is in running shape according to the seller, and is available in Bretnig-Hauswalde, Germany. It’s up for sale here on eBay Germany for 5,500 Euro ($6,208). While that seems a little expensive to me, where have you seen another one?


While it appears quite useful, I can’t imagine anyone actually using this vehicle in a business application today. Maybe I’m wrong? It’s obviously had modern rear lights added for rear visibility, and is currently licensed for the road.


The Ostner factory started production of three wheeled delivery vehicles in 1932 alongside the motorcycles they were already manufacturing. A fourth wheel was added at some point (shades of Morgan!) and production continued all the way to 1970! I especially like the way the front wheel serves as a front bumper–let’s not spend any extra money here!


Needless to say, accommodations are quite primitive. But I don’t think that’s the attraction here anyway. Maybe as a parts runner for a German car repair shop? There you go, that’s one commercial use! I would have liked to see a picture of the seat, just for curiosity’s sake.


Wow. Not exactly an intimidating engine, is it? It’s a one-cylinder engine sporting a “Dynastart”, which is a combination starter motor and alternator. The seller reports that “the brakes work wonderfully thanks to cable technology.” I’m not sure I would have worded it quite that way!  The tires are pretty old, and the seller states that the electrics aren’t all working either. But it certainly looks simple to fix, doesn’t it. Pretend for a moment this is located near you–what would you do with it? Restore it? Keep the patina and maybe replace the obviously modern touches with period items? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Peregrine Lance

    These (and similar vehicles) are still staple workhorses in Europe, where (replacing horsecarts) they deliver milk in the early a.m. (remember Sylvia Plath’s “glassy music”?), and would be ideal for many applications. (Harley’s 45-cube trike “Servicars” come to mind also–if not for delivering milk, then for a repair mechanic’s ride to and from a car-on-the-fritz.) The Ostners helped a lot in keeping a prewar look to postwar cities.
    If a vehicle had enough uniqueness to stir an engineer’s imagination, there’s still a place for it–somewhere, somehow. (After all: In the last analysis, all these wheeled wonders really do is reflect our needs, our perceptions, our lives….’50s fins, anyone??)

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  2. Roger Owen

    I absolutely love it – it’s completely barking!

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    Imagine Stuffing a Small Block 289 under the hood with Headers hangin’ out the Engine Bay!!!

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  4. Woodie Man

    @Peregrine……whoa! Slvia Plath reference on a car blog! Wow! And of course you are correct. This reminds me of the WWII movies with lots of nasty Nazi soldiers strutting about, and men in cloth caps hauling large metal milk cans.

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  5. Bill

    Resto-mod. While i would drive the heck out of it as is, eventually period signal and tail lights would have to happen, then a tidy up and shiny paint. perhaps a more modern engine/brakes at some point, but I think this is a unique ride under any category you would want to put it in.

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  6. Stephen

    I remember these when I lived in Hemer Germany from 1960 to 1963. They brought fruits and vegetables around our streets and the ladies would flock to them for fresh produce.

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  7. brakeservo

    I had a 1953 Bond Minicar – very similar set-up with three wheels and a motorcycle engine driving the front wheel – it could be turned 180 degrees from lock-to-lock so would turn around on the radius of it’s own wheelbase – way too much fun but I don’t think this one will do the same.

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    • Eric H.

      This was listed last December for 6,000 Euros, same photos. This listing has been removed already.

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