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The Harper Runabout motorised tricycle was manufactured by A.V. Roe and Co Ltd at their aircraft factory in Manchester from 1921 to 1926. Designed by R. O. Harper, the machine had a plywood body mounted on a steel frame with cast-iron fittings and was powered by a single cylinder 269cc Villiers engine with a 3-speed gearbox. It was capable of 40 mph and gave 100 miles per gallon.
Seating was unusual in that it was back to back, the passenger facing rearwards. All three wheels had leaf-spring suspension, were detachable, and had what are described as "disc-type" brakes.
Controls, apart from the steering which is by motorcycle handlebars, is automotive fashion - throttle, clutch and brakes are by foot pedal.
Some 500 of these curious but eminently sensible vehicles were built.
R. H. Carlisle and Co of Manchester was a dealer.
Founded in 1910, the Avro company became part of the Hawker Siddeley group in 1935. See also Hawker
Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry has a Harper Runabout in its collection.
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