A Gasoline or Battery-Electric Three Wheel Car

Featured on the Cover of Mechanix Illustrated Magazine and in the Movie "Total Recall". Over 30,000 Plans in the Field. Plans show gas and electric versions and include twelve 17 x 22 inch drawings, plus a 60-pg manual.


Trimuter was introduced on the cover of Mechanix Illustrated Magazine and went on to become the magazine’s all-time favorite DIY project.  Within months, Trimuter car clubs began to pop up, a few states changed motor vehicle code to accommodate the three-wheel design.  Prefab bodies and chassis soon became available from independent manufacturers. When Mechanix Illustrated changed their logo to become Home Mechanix, Trimuter retained its position as the most popular project in the 75-year history of the magazine.

Trimuter differs from its forerunners by having three wheels instead of four – one front and two rear. This distinctive layout leads to the car’s striking and efficient wedge shape. It also means that Trimuter is a motorcycle and not a car in the eyes of the federal government. This saves on license fees and makes vehicle inspections less stringent. Other benefits include a chassis that is lighter, more simplified, and slightly more efficient than an equivalent four-wheel chassis. In addition, Trimuter can be built as either a conventional gasoline powered car or a battery-electric vehicle. The body and chassis are designed to accept either power system, and plans provide complete details for both. The ICE version, powered by a 16-hp, two-cylinder industrial engine, delivers 50 miles to a gallon of regular gasoline – about the same as a large motorcycle. The electric version uses ten 6-volt batteries and runs 60 miles on a charge. Either version can top 60 mph. Cost to build the car will be more for the electric version, which is due mainly to the cost of batteries. Figure about $4,500 or so to build the electric version and about $3,500 for the gasoline version.

Trimuter was featured on the cover of Mechanix Illustrated magazine,  and it was used as a background vehicle in the movie Total Recall.  The body is built of the same FRP/urethane foam composite used to build the other vehicles in the series.

Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 13 × 10 × 1 in

Ready to start your project?

01. Projects / Plans

02. Subscribe / Contacts

Want to be notified when we launch a new DIY plan or an update? Just sign up below and we'll send notifications by email.

© Robert Q. Riley Enterprises 2019 / All rights reserved.