The Powerdrive is a three-wheeled microcar designed by David Gottlieb, who had previously worked with the Allard Motor Company on the development of the abortive Allard ClipperThree-wheeled microcar produced from 1953 until 1955.. The venture was backed by the London-based Blue Star Garages, who retained the exclusive rights to sell the Powerdrive.[1]

The Powerdrive’s “capacious” open-topped aluminium body is wide enough to seat three abreast,[2] or more realistically two adults and a child.[3] The chain-driven single rear wheel is powered by an Anzani 322 cc (20 in3) two-stroke engine mounted ahead of the wheel, via a three-speed Albion gearbox.[2]

The car was launched at the Dorchester Hotel in London in July 1955,[1] but its relatively high price of £412, equivalent to about £11,500 as at 2021,[a]Calculated using the retail price index.[4] made it unattractive to the buying public.[2]

See caption
1956 Powerdrive
Wikimedia Commons
Manufacturer:Powerdrive Ltd
Top speed:55 mph (89 km/h)
Below the Radar

Lack of sales – it is unknown how many Powerdrives were actually produced – led to the company’s bankruptcy in 1957, but the car was soon resurrected in another Gottlieb design, the Coronet.[1]


a Calculated using the retail price index.[4]



Dredge, Richard. Powerdrive.
MeasuringWorth. Five Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a UK Pound Amount, 1270 to Present. 2020,
Rees, Chris. Three-Wheelers A–Z:The Definitive Encyclopaedia of Three-Wheeled Vehicles from 1940 to Date. Quiller Print, 2013.
Staff writer. Meet the 3-Wheeler for 3. 30 July 1955, p. 5.