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Today in Motorcycle History

Wendax Utility Three-wheelers

Manufactured by Draisinenbau „Freund“ G.m.b.H., Hamburg 35, Wendenstraße 151, established 1901.

Vehicles were produced in the years 1932-1938 and 1948-1951.

Initially named "Freund Eilrad", a tax-free three-wheel delivery cart, it was changed to Wendax in 1935 (named after Wendenstrasse) as presented at the Berlin auto show that year in two versions with 98cc and 120cc engines.

In the post-war years a variety of 3- and 4-wheel machines were built including a model powered by Volkswagen, the Wendax Aero WS 400. This was fitted with engines sourced from Wehrmacht stock, and when these began to run out Volkswagen refused to supply further engines.

The firm also built the four-wheeled WS 700 with a JLO 400cc engine, and the WS 750 with a 750cc JLO.

The Wendax JLO was savaged in the press, and this and its relatively high price resulted in poor sales. Automotive production ceased in 1951, but they continued to build handcarts into the late 1950s.

Sources: Axel Oskar Mathieu Archive, Oldtimerclub Lachendorf.

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