The Stimson Scorcher is a three-wheeled vehicle designed by Barry Stimson and first produced in the UK in 1976. The Scorcher was available preassembled or as a kit, sold by Noovoh Developments of Brighton for £385 (equivalent to £1500 in 2016).
During its four-year production run, ending in 1980, thirty Scorchers were produced. There was an unsuccessful attempt to resuscitate the Scorcher project the following year.
The Austin Mini 848 cc (51.7 cu in) engine, one of those used to power the Scorcher, is able to deliver a top speed of 100 mph (161 km/h).
The glassfibre body is mounted on a steel tubular-frame chassis and is completely open to the elements, offering the vehicle’s occupants no protection from the weather. Even the engine is exposed, unless the buyer purchased the optional plastic bonnet.
The Scorcher has two wheels at the front and conventional car controls. Its unusual configuration of three seats with the driver and passengers sitting in line astride the machine meant that the UK’s licensing authority classified it as a motorcycle and sidecar combination, which had the consequence that one of the passengers was not required to wear a crash helmet.
Engine and transmission
The Scorcher is powered by an Austin Mini engine and gearbox of between 848 cc (51.7 cu in) and 1275 cc (77.8 cu in), mounted on a Mini sub frame at the front of the vehicle. The car’s weight of only 560 pounds (254 kgs) allowed the 848 cc engine to deliver a top speed of 100 miles per hour (161 km/h).
Scorcher production ended in 1980, but in 1981 the project was bought by Gerald Pickford of Clanfield. Pickford made some design changes to the lower front end, but by the end of 1982 only three of the new Scorchers had been produced.
In a 2003 interview published in The Daily Telegraph, Stimson observed of the Scorcher that “It’s the worst seller of all my cars, but the most famous – I find that weird”.[a]In reality the Scorcher was not Stimson’s worst-selling car; only one Stimson StormThree-wheeled motor vehicle designed by Barry Stimson and offered for sale as a kit car. was sold during its five years of production. Motoring journalist and author Steve Hole has described the Scorcher as “one of the most bonkers kit cars ever made”.
In reality the Scorcher was not Stimson’s worst-selling car; only one Stimson StormThree-wheeled motor vehicle designed by Barry Stimson and offered for sale as a kit car. was sold during its five years of production.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.