Good Buy Or Goodbye? 1981 HMV Freeway $3,500

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It doesn’t hurt that this 1981 HMV Freeway three-wheeler is bright yellow, it’ll be easier for texting and otherwise not-paying-attention distracted drivers to see you rolling down the street. The seller has this one posted here on craigslist in East Mesa, Arizona and they’re asking $3,500 “Firm Firm”, which I’m guessing means no offers… Here is the original listing in case someone grabs it, and thanks to T.J. for sending in this tip!

At just under ten feet in length and weighing in at 700 pounds, these things are not exactly Chevy Suburbans in size or heft. You can see that the windows are out of this body shell, but the seller does say that they’re included, or replacement windows are included. I’m assuming that they’re plexiglass, and the seller says that they need to be cut to fit.

H-M Vehicles out of Burnsville, Minnesota got into making the HMV (High Mileage Vehicle) Freeway, a small, three-wheeled fuel-efficient vehicle, several years after the gas crunch in the U.S. They were made for just a few years, from 1979 to 1982, according to most sources. There may have been some stragglers, but for all intents and purposes, the small factory shut down in the summer of 1982 after making approximately 700 of these three-wheel vehicles.

I think that most sources would agree that it’s better to have two wheels in front for a vehicle with only three wheels, it’s much more stable in corners. The interior photos aren’t of much use here, unfortunately, but this is craigslist, the home of some very cool vehicles for sale but usually horrible photos. The seller doesn’t give much information about this particular example.

The HMV Freeway came with a couple of engine choices, either a 12-horsepower or a 16-horsepower single-cylinder Tecumseh. There has been a rumor of diesel engines being available but nobody knows if any of them were sold. And, I’ve heard of battery-powered models, too. This one runs at idle but stalls once it’s underway. I’m guessing that most Barn Finds readers would want to swap that engine out anyway. Would any of you drive one of these things around your neighborhood, or even, gulp, on city streets in 2022?

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  1. Help Fast Car Approaching

    Golf cart or riding mower conversion seems safer for this mini car.

    I would feel comfortable as a golf cart that drives five mph through the neighborhood

    Like 0
  2. JMB#7

    For anyone who was waiting on the Elio, well here it is. Now offered at half the price that Elio promised. Seriously, this would be nice with either an EV drivetrain, or a moderate displacement motorcycle drivetrain. For a neighborhood vehicle (like where people use golf carts etc.).

    Like 6
  3. TheOldRanger

    This would be an interesting car to drive in our gated community, with lots of hills and curves. My concern would be getting up some of the hills in our area, but you sure could coast down them. I wouldn’t want to drive this one on any busy street in most towns because it appears quite vulnerable to any “contact” with other vehicles.

    Like 4
    • Shaun Martin

      Haha, like a Rolls Canardly then.
      Rolls down them but can hardly get up them 🤣

      Like 1
  4. FRED W

    two initials : ls ! :)

    Like 1
    • Mike G.

      To quote Bugs Bunny, “What a

      Like 4
  5. Mike G.

    To quote Bugs Bunny, “What a

    Like 0
  6. Melton Mooney

    ‘busa swap it.

    Like 3
  7. Big C

    This cry’s out for an LS swap.

    Like 3
  8. RMac

    Lol I still have a Honda shadow 1100 cc engine and 5 speed trans with shaft drive could slide it right in and wake this yellow bird up it would definitely chirp

    Like 2
    • JMB#7

      That would be a perfect balance between plenty performance, drivability, and not excessive. Would also be much quieter and smoother than the original powertrain.

      Like 1
  9. George Birth

    This would work in a gated community with golf cart vehicles. Put it on a regular street with a 35 or 45 MPH speed limit and it would be an accident waiting to happen. Unfortunately for the driver of this one it would in all probability for the driver be a fatal one. Unsafe at any speed?

    Like 0
  10. Rick Tyler

    I had one, bought it from a farmer out in the country and he let his grandkids drive it up and down the road. I found out how rare it was, so I did a complete body off restore. I really hated to but sold it and tripled my money from what I had in it. I drove it down the road and it did great. Top speed was about 60 to 65. Where you had to be careful was in gravel or grass. With one rear drive wheel you could get it to fishtail really easy.

    Like 2
  11. Scott H wilson

    I have one I put the complete 1981 750cc Yamaha motorcycle in it minus the front end and it turned out great

    Like 1

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