Bid to produce three-wheel motors in Northumberland

A businessman has launched a bid to revive the production of a century-old three-wheel vehicle in the rural countryside of Northumberland

Artists impressions of a new three-wheel vehicle which businessman Brad Hoy hopes to start producing in Northumberland
Artists impressions of a new three-wheel vehicle which businessman Brad Hoy hopes to start producing in Northumberland

Brad Hoy needs £200,000 to build a prototype of the historic Castle Three vehicle which was first produced in Kidderminster between 1919 and 1922.

The 50-year-old father-of-three, who boasts a career in pharmaceuticals, bio-technologies and engineering, has set-up his own company and is looking to re-ignite the rivalry with motoring giants Morgan.

Mr Hoy, who lives in Hazon, near Alnwick, Northumberland, with his wife, Helen, 50, and three children, Matt, 22, a nightclub promoter, Emma, 20, a psychology student at Northumbria University, and Alice, 15, a student at Morpeth’s King Edward VI School, said: “When people think of three-wheeled vehicles they almost always think of the Reliant Robin.

“But around the time of the First World War the three-wheeled vehicle was very popular - they were a bit cheaper and there were tax breaks.

“There were sports variations and the Morgan was particularly renowned for their vehicles. They had two wheels at the front and one wheel at the back with a motor cycle engine.

“They are absolute tremendous fun - there’s a real ‘wind in the hair’ experience.

“I’m a businessman but I have an interest in cars. I’ve not been accused of having a mid-life crisis or starting up a ‘vanity project’ because this is a viable business.”

Mr Hoy formed the Castle Three Motor Company Ltd based in Alnwick, Northumberland, to pick up the baton from the Castle Motor Company which produced 350 three-wheeled “cyclecars” between 1919 to 1922.

The company had originally been a car repair business founded in 1906 by brothers Stanley and Laughton Goodwin but grew to make munitions during World War I and entered the car building business with the coming of peace and the post-war boom.

Mr Hoy said: “There’s a joke that if you want to make a small fortune with cars you have to start with a huge fortune. But this is something that could work.”

Mr Hoy - who was previously chief executive of Xcellsyz Ltd near the Centre for Life in Newcastle and still sits on the board of drug development company e-Therapeutics - is looking to “crowd-fund” the new project and is inviting people to get involved.

And he says that he also wants to tap into the North East’s skilled motoring sector by striking-up contracts with those in Nissan’s regional supply chain.

Mr Hoy said: “We are keen to appeal to the many people who work in high-volume motor manufacture in the region who feel they could move into a the niche vehicle sector.”

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