Cheap Fun: 1970s Alsport Tri-Sport

Collectors of oddball gas-powered non-road-legal vehicles unite! Or, maybe I’m the only one here who is interested in things like this, I sure hope not. This is a 1970s Alsport Tri-Sport and it can be found listed here on eBay in West Milton, Ohio. The seller has a buy-it-now price of $900 listed or you can make an offer. I’m going to see if I can get through this one without making an offer on it.

I hope that there are others out there among the millions of Barn Finds fans who like seeing weird vehicles like this Tri-Sport. They’re not for everyone but anything this cheap and fun should appeal to a few readers. These Tri-Sports are somewhat rare and the price on this one – were it local without several hundred dollars in shipping charges – would ensure that it would end up in one of my hoarding storage units filled with oddball two and/or three-wheelers. You can easily spend $900 for a brake job on your 2012 Chevy Cruze, I’d rather have this Tri-Sport.

Alsport, Inc. out of Norwalk, Ohio made these incredibly cool recreational vehicles in the ’70s and this one even has the rare ski attachment so you can use it in the winter. Can you break trails in deep, powder snow with it? No, of course not, but you can burn across packed trails or logging roads and it may be more of a way to take this trike to a snowmobile gathering than really being a serious winter use vehicle. Still, a factory ski attachment and only $900? Dang.

The seller mentions a couple of areas where the fiberglass was repaired, including the photo above on the rear of the front fender. That’s unfortunate but maybe it could be restored by someone who could do a better job of it. The company made five models with four-cycle Tecumseh engines from 3-hp up to 7-hp and there was also a two-stroke 12-hp model that would have been the one to have. The seller says that this example has an 8-hp Tecumseh which isn’t listed as being an option but maybe it’s a 7-hp or a replacement engine?

 

Yeah, it’s most likely a replacement with the plastic gas tank, it looks almost exactly like our 8-hp snowblower engine. I did find an old Mechanics Illustrated story on the Tri-Sport which lists an 8-hp and also a 14-hp which other factory brochures don’t even mention so I’m guessing that things changed along the way as with most of the smaller independent manufacturers in this era. The seller says that this Tri-Sport will do almost 40 mph which is really cruising on something this small. I wouldn’t recommend “dropping a Hayabusa in this thing” unless your life insurance is fully paid up. Have any of you seen an Alsport Tri-Sport?

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Scotty, you highlight the craziest stuff! And that’s cool. This one could be the next Disney movie, “Honey, I shrunk the VW Trike!”
    I like it, though with the nonsuspension in the rear it’d be a little hard on the tukus (tokhes?)..
    Great for Daytona Bike Week, Reno Street Vibrations or Sturgis!!

    9
    • Rube Goldberg

      Tuchus,,,

      6
      • Matt steele

        I come from a rural area and country kids had 3 wheelers.. I think made by massey Ferguson and they had tecumpseh motors on them ..we used to run up and down gravel, dirt and blacktop roads all day.go to creeks and just explore..it was a lot of fun

        11
  2. Rube Goldberg

    Being an avid dirt biker in the ’70’s, I had heard of these, but never saw one. A friend and I built a go-kart with a single cylinder JLO, same tires, only 4, and skis for winter. It worked on only the hard packed snow, the rear tires actually held it back.These were pre-ATV’s, trying to cash in on the awful Honda 3 wheeler craze, and were probably just as dangerous.
    And love the oddball stuff, keep ’em comin’, SG.

    8
    • KKW

      These had nothing in common with the notorious “crawl up the back of your legs” honda 3wheelers.

  3. Pete

    Neat. Never saw them before……….

    6
  4. Carlton Madden

    Man, if that were anywhere near me I’d have already bought it.

    9
  5. Sam61

    Like it…too bad it wasn’t listed a few days ok…add a fez and an ear ring then crash the 4th of July parade as a Shriner.

    4
  6. paintm4u

    I had a trike similar to this but, I can’t remember the brand. It had a twin cyl 2 stroke engine of some kind. It was a pull start and was very hard to get started, it looked about like this one but somewhat larger. It had no suspension and the footpegs were on the front forks and it ran like a bat outa” hell when it ran.

  7. Henry K Blair

    I put a surplus JLO engine on one of these that I hopped up to about 18 – 20 HP. As the speed increased, the low-pressure rear tires would gain in circumference as well and the thing would get faster and faster. It could not jump. I tried that once and my backbone served as the rear suspension. These things are not for the faint-hearted.

    5
    • MrBZ

      Cool trike, cool post. Can’t get enough of these, Scotty!

      1
  8. Sherminator

    I had a Rupp Go-Joe, a similar concept but with 4 wheels and an 8 hp Tecumseh engine. You rode on a long seat like a snowmobile and it was fun in the summer and winter (I wish I had the optional front skis).

    4
  9. wrsjr

    Growing up, a friend had one of these. I remember it being hard to steer. It would understeer something terrible. We had a photo of his dad (6’4″ aprox 250lbs) sitting on it. It was a fun ride though.

    4
  10. George

    1972. Winter camping in Boy Scouts in upstate NY. One trip he brought one of these with him. He created a track for us. We all had a great time bombing around in the woods with it.

    10
    • Mike Burton

      I had one a couple years ago. 4 stroker. Fun to drive and lots of looks and laughs. Traded it for a boat.

  11. Motoman

    Had one when I was a kid with same motor, we took the govenor off and it would scoot and it would do awesome drifts! Finally the rod came through the block from over revving it lol. It sat in the back shed on the farm for years and then someone swiped it along with a little Bonanza chopper mini bike that I was going to fix up…

  12. Bmac Bmac Member

    These were a blast! Life before the litigation craze.

    10
    • 36 Packard

      Agreed, but we all have to admit just how dangerous these are. I drove a Honda three wheeler, once………..once. Scared the you know what out if me. The four wheelers were much better, and the UTVs better yet (like I use now). Talk about a crummy balance. When you are 13 having the front end come up is cool, but you are too young to understand that a broken neck and quadriplegia is forever. I have seen to many peoples lives ended and even worse than ended by 3 and 4 wheelers. Should they be outlawed? No, but we need to stop giving them to kids and drunks.

      5
      • chrlsful

        yup, ‘s a reason they banned the 3 wheelers.

        Anything w/a motor on here, eh Scoto?

        No comment bout “drop in an LS.” from da cheby guys…yet.

        Like the grass wip motor powered drink mixers (a ‘blender’) and the belt sander races – some guys will come up w/anything, not 4 me (but I CAN think bout the 18/21 inch tired, 225 cc model with some protective 10 ft sno drifts around. ‘d feel like a kid ona big wheels! weeeee!).

        Thanks for nother good’un Mr. Gee

        1
      • Gregg Witt

        Please, downers need not apply.

        3
      • 36 Packard

        Hey Gregg, ever taken care of someone with a broken neck? Didn’t think so. So many here take life so recklessly, it is all fun and games with our machines until an accident happens. Trust me, it is no fun hearing a 20 year old man sobbing that he wishes he could die from a hospital bed, it is worse hearing many others who have said the same thing. Regret is wonderful, but does not change some peoples reality. Am I a downer? Probably, but I read all these crazy posts about how people want the biggest engines and to do stupid things with them. Cars are not toys, they need some respect. Some of us have made a life trying to pick up the pieces of shattered lives. I love old cars, but I drive them sedately and with respect, I wish others would do the same. Might put me out of business, but that would be okay with me.

        2
    • Rube Goldberg

      Yeah, we took many a lump, but it was all in good fun,,,
      I’m sorry to hear of 36 Packards stories,, injuries were common, almost like a badge of honor. Moderation was the key with these things, many couldn’t grasp the concept of “take it easy at 1st” and for some reason, opened the throttle wide open and lost it. I had a blast with this stuff too, dirt bikes, motocross, snowmobiles, go-karts,, got pretty nuts, but never too nuts. I knew the difference from having fun and trying to kill yourself.

      8
    • 38ChevyCoupeGuy

      I had one of these in 88 or 89, I don’t remember the Springer front on the one I had though,best 10 bucks I spent as a 12 year old,took some tinkering but I had “lots” of miles and memories on that sucker.lol Thanks for the write up and the trip down memory lane!

  13. Dave Mazz

    I’m lookin’ for a, “needs a small-block Chevy”, post. :-) :-)

  14. Jack Hammer

    Eight ninety-five…ninety-six…ninety-seven…

    • CADDY PIMP DADDY

      NO LONGER Available :-(
      I just went to make an offer and I’m guessing it’s been sold.

  15. Allgonquin

    I had one of these during the early ’70’s in my mid teens. 8 horse Tecumseh with a Comet torque converter. They did understeer pretty heavily, and the brake was a single band on a drum on the rear axle, operated more or less with a bicycle brake handle/cable, so it was marginal. But we had tons and tons of fun on ours. I bought it with a friend and we ran the bejabbers out of it. Was well made, although various bits of fiberglass needed touching up at times. We did a lot of running on slippery snowy roads, but didn’t have the ski. The one pictured has front suspension on the fork – I want to say that ours didn’t, but it was a long time ago!

    4
  16. David F

    I think you have the insurance thing backwards, depending on your wife’s sense of humor. If she’s got the policy out and checking it twice, perhaps that hopeful look should discourage one from further antics!

  17. DNC

    If it didn’t have a Tecumseh motor, I’d be all over this. Worst air cooled motor ever.

  18. Jay Rock

    Hmmm, i have $900 in my bank account and Norwalk is only a few hours from me……..

  19. kenzo

    sold !

  20. Rob

    We sold these for a while back in the 1970s. These were actually very safe. The center of gravity was centered and much lower than the Honda. They were almost impossible to flip or roll.

    2
    • Paul

      I had one in 74-76 and it was cool but would pull a wheelie on demand, not sure what motor I had but it was fast.

  21. Jon G

    The ski! No way! $900? If I could drive there and back from Saturday morning to Sunday evening I’d own it. But that’s my rule. Keeps me from having hoarders storage full of them.

    1
  22. Jack Hammer

    Anybody know if they are a solid axle?

    • Henry Blair

      Mine had two axles on pillow blocks with a differential that spun with axles. My JLO engine wrung two of these off at the differential. It would be impossible to steer with both wheels pulling at the same time unless the surface was very slippery.

  23. 38ChevyCoupeGuy

    Mine was,both wheels pulled,and not a shock in sight,not hard to steer as one would imagine being both rear wheels being live.

    2
  24. Jack Hammer

    Thank you much.

    • 38ChevyCoupeGuy

      Yes sir, anytime. Eastern panhandle of Wva here by the way…

      • Steve

        I have one in the garage. Crazy fast and no brake so it only comes out on special occasions.

        1
  25. Todd M Gibbs

    Hello gentlemen from the Buckeye state. About 4 years ago I saw one of these sticking its nose out of a barn on a local sheep farm, I turned around and asked the old man if he would sell it? 200 bucks later it was mine. The body was painted plum crazy with ghost flames and had a plastic and wood top on it that looked like something from an old carriage. Ed roth wood have loved it. Fun fact the lug pattern on these are the same on back as a chevy small lug. [ like the rims on an s10] that’s whats on mine. Mine is an Alsport Trisports SL model. the SL stands for street legal. I am 6″2″ 328 lbs and it was clocked at 32mph with me on it. My daughter in law is about 120 and just last week tried to give it full throttle, wiped out the strawberries and laid it on its side. she wont go near it now. I love that thing!!!!

    1
  26. half cab

    Believe it or not JC Penny’s automotive sold something like this in the early 70s.

    1
  27. MZ

    Used to ride these at camp in the early 80’s- an absolute blast, but an absolute death trap. All the weight is in the back, so forget about any steering grip. Still much more fun than anything out today.

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