Tim Buttles is not happy unless he has a project to work on. It can be an airplane, a car or a motorcycle. “I dabble in a lot of things,” he told Speedville. “I never mastered anything.”
People who know Tim would disagree. The word on the street is that he’s a mechanical wizard who can build anything from nothing and a man who can make something beautiful out of junk that other people throw away. Take his latest creation for example. It cost Tim all of $2,600—from his Social Security income—to make this eye catching cycle car.
Tim says he always wanted a British-built Morgan three-wheeler, but he can’t afford one of the classic ones from the ‘30s or even one of those made a few years ago. So, he got hold of a 1983 Honda Goldwing, built a tubular chassis around it and hand built his own version of a Morgan.
He started the cycle car in Oct. 2016 and completed it recently, except for some tinkering he’s still doing. He built the pieces, put them together and painted them in his own home garage. He used a standard Volkswagen Beetle as a donor car for the front suspension.
The sides of the body are formed of flat aluminum that was donated to his project by a friend. “It’s a little flat on the sides because the aluminum is flat,” Tim said. “Nut hey, you just don’t turn down free stuff when you’ve got my budget.”
Tim constructed the engine cover by first using wood lathe, which he put fiberglass over. Then he peeled the lathe off and he had a fiberglass cover with the exact curvature he wanted. “That takes the flat sides off the engine cover,” he whispered. The grille shell up front is cut down from a ’38 Ford grille.
Tim figures he spent most of the $2,600 on supplies such as paint, welding equipment and sandpaper. “That stuff is getting really expensive,” he complained. “The creamy yellow paint was something that an auto parts store had mixed for a customer who never came back for it.” He got that at a discount.
The last tinkering Tim did on the cycle car involved the roof, which has a convertible top look to it. Once the roof was completed, Tim came up with some reasonably priced fabric to glue onto it. We’re not sure if the cost of the top covering was included in the $2,600 or whether Tim’s added another 10 spot or two to the budget to make the roof look like a professionally installed top.
Regardless of the cost, Tim has himself a custom built Morgan-inspired three wheeler.
Article courtesy of Speedville.