Daily demonstrations at 11am, free with admission!

Clifft Commutercycle- 1974

In 1973, Dale Clifft set out to build a small, fuel-efficient vehicle to use as a commuter vehicle in his southern California hometown of Tarzana. Working in a friend’s garage, Clifft constructed a tubular framework, and covered it in a reddish-orange metallic Naugahyde, to create a small three-wheeler that seated two. As he wanted to make the vehicle as fuel-efficient as possible, and working on a budget, he located an old Honda CB77 Super Hawk to use as the driveline.

Constructing the car as a reverse-trike, with two wheels in the front and a single wheel at the rear, allowed Clifft to remove the front forks of the CB77 and use the remainder of the framework of the motorcycle as the rear drive system for the car. A few modifications to the motorcycle, including an electric starter set up and new alternator, were made, but aside from those the engine and transmission remained stock.

Using a motorcycle frame and engine in this type of configuration does provide challenges, though. The biggest – how to make all of the controls function appropriately. To achieve this, Clifft utilized original components from the CB77 as the clutch, brake, and gas pedal, and a lever to the left of the driver as the shift lever which includes a brake lever from the motorcycle that engages the starter.