From The Past To The Future: 1981 Tri-Magnum

Looking for all the world like something out of a science fiction movie, this 1981 Tri-Magnum doesn’t look like it would take much to put it back on the road. It sounds like it’s being sold by the original builder here on eBay, and the price doesn’t sound too bad at $2,500 with only 11 hours to go as I write this. It’s currently located in Steger, Illinois. Thanks to reader Michael B. for the submission!

As you might guess from the name, this is a three wheeler. Note the unusual entry. The builder says it’s been finished for 6 years, but that it is difficult for them to get in and out of now. I found this site where plans are still being sold by the original designer–note that they speak of it costing around $4,000 plus the motorcycle necessary for power, so this may really be a bargain!

I also was able to find this video of what it’s like to own and drive one. The seller tells us that this one was built to accommodate their 5’4″ frame, so it’s possible you may need to modify or extend things if you are taller. We at Barn Finds have covered another one previously here that looks suspiciously like the one in the video.

The steering wheel pivots up and out of the way to get out of the vehicle, and it appears most of the auxiliary controls are located in the joystick or on the small console. The seller reports there’s a GPS speedometer included. The work appears to have been done to a pretty high standard, but I’d love to look it over more closely.

Tri-Magnums are powered by a largish motorcycle drive train; while the one in the video uses a Honda Gold Wing, this one uses a 1981 Kawasaki 1000 drive train, and is actually titled as a 1981 Kawasaki 1000 LTD. It’s covered around 25,000 miles since being built, so any bugs from the construction should have been worked out long before now. The seller does report that the rear tire is dry rotted, so plan on replacing it before you are off on your adventures. Personally, I think this is a lot of vehicle for the money and would love to give it a spin. What about you?



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  1. Andy

    That looks pretty cool! It probably weighs right around half a ton, and the engine should put out at least 70 HP, so it ought to have a reasonable power to weight ratio, but I hope there’s some kind of a cooling fan. One more too-bad-I-live-in-the-city posting.

  2. Gunner

    Yes, I can see the resemblance with George Jetsons commuter. ;-)

  3. Don

    Looks like something that Batman would make Robin drive the Robin mobile🤔

  4. Squanto

    I don’t usually golf, but when I do, I use a 1981 Tri-Magnum as a golf cart. Stay crazy, my friends.

  5. 8banger Dave Member

    Not quite sure if this constitutes as a chick magnet or not…hmmm…

    • Squanto

      Those attracted would be bat-squat crazy, which I have always found entertaining for short periods of time. Agree?

  6. Dolphin Member

    Not all cars are pretty…..

  7. Don

    I’d rather have the 81 Kawasaki 1000 🚲

  8. Pete uk

    Reminds me of the car on the opening credits of the pink panther!!!

  9. corky aeh

    I tried to contact the owner of this car ?? before the bidding ended but e bay was being there usual incompetent self and wouldn’t let me ….I do not deal with E-Bay for just this reason .. I would like to talk to the owner , if anyone can figure out how to do it , let me know , the last I seen it had no bids ???? Thanks WCA

  10. Deborah King

    Looks like he sold it.

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