The Piaggio Ape is not the only three-wheeler on Portuguese roads it seems. We spotted these other vehicles - but would we ever find out what they were? I owned a half-share in a Reliant way back when so I was determined to find out.
The first one was on display in a park in Sagres, on the coast, languishing in the salty air on a hot day. It reminded me of the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. I noted that it had a German Zündapp motor. After considerable research on the internet we found out that it is a Famel Tricarro which came fitted with a 50cc Zündapp motor. Famel, based in Águeda, Portugal, was one of the most successful makers of motorized 3-wheelers from the 1960s to the 1980s. After Portugal joined the EEC the company filed for bankruptcy in 2002.
The second one photographed in Tavira, similar but not the same, is a Motalli - thought to be a TR2 model. The Motalli lives on it seems.
Thirdly the one without a cabin is a Casal from Aveiro, named for João Casal, picture also taken in Tavira. The company is defunct, going bankrupt in February 2000.
Words and pics by RLT.