1961 Daihatsu Midget “Trimobile”

Today’s vehicle is a 1961 Daihatsu Midget “Trimobile” owned by J Dusi Winery. It is displayed as winery art where I photographed this utilitarian 3-wheel truck located in Paso Robles, CA. It is finished in blue with a cream? interior. It is powered by a 12 hp, 305cc, single cylinder, 2-stroke, air cooled Daihatsu engine, mated to a 3-speed manual transmission. Slowing this beauty down are hydraulic brakes on rear 2-wheels. The front suspension coil springs. The rear suspension is longitudinal semi-elliptical leaf springs. The published top speed of 40 MPH, but it is recommended not to make any quick turns.

The Daihatsu Midget was a utilitarian microtruck built and sold in Japan between 1957 to 1972 with a estimated 336,000 units produced. This one is somewhere between 12-50 that were shipped to the US. The mph on the speedometer, and left hand drive steering wheel tells us it was shipped to the US. They were primarily used inside manufacturing plants, but I can see where they could be very useful at a winery. The Midget “Trimobile” enjoyed success because its seating position was that of a real car, not an adaptation of a motorcycle.

I like seeing old vehicles at wineries and think that this is a great vehicle to have as winery art. You won’t see this car at car shows or Cars and Coffee events, but I would like to see this as a working truck at the winery carrying wine out to customers cars. Thank you for riding along. Frank

Photo courtesy of Nosweb.jp. Engine compartment single cylinder, 2-stroke, air cooled