Campagna T-Rex – 1996

Is it a boat? Is it a plane? Is it a starfighter? No, it’s a motorbike. Or a three-wheeled sports car. Whatever, the futuristic Campagna T-Rex is definitely unlike any other form of wheeled thrillster devised by man. Actually, it’s officially a motorcycle, though it does indeed have three wheels (two front, one back). The T-Rex is made in Quebec, Canada and had been around to delight those who’ve been aware of its exhilarating secrets since the mid-1990s, though the first street-legal examples were not imported into the USA until 2001.

The T-Rex was (and remains) an affordable alternative to supercars costing many times the price, with sensational performance, great roadholding and the sheer sense of speed that comes from scorching along close to the road with the wind in your face. The original concept was developed by Formula Ford racing driver and Fl mechanic Daniel Campagna, with space-age styling by Paul Deutschman.

With a lightweight reinforced fibreglass body on a multi-tubular steel chassis and frame, the T-Rex has two adjustable seats, side by side, with carbon-fibre headrests. The T-Rex has three-point seat belts and a foot-pedal box. The wind deflector is also fabricated in carbon fibre. The wheels are aluminium and there is a six-speed gearbox (with reverse). Engines have evolved over time. The first power plant was a 1.1 litre straight four, followed by a slightly smaller engine, then a 1.7 litre cc V-Twin, succeeded by two more straight fours at 1.2 litres and 1.4 litres respectively. The latest version received a substantial facelift prior to a worldwide export drive.

The T-Rex was a long time in development, but well worth waiting for. Acceleration is electric and top speed is quite frightening. The vehicle may be a mere supertrike, but it drives like a sensational miniature sports car.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

Canada

FIRST MANUFACTURED:

1996 (until the present)

ENGINE:

1,074 cc, 1,052 cc, 1,164 cc or 1,352 cc Straight Four; 1,735 cc V-Twin

PERFORMANCE:

With 1.2 I engine – top speed of 140 mph (225 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.1 secs

YOU SHOULD KNOW:

One mightily impressed motoring writer enjoyed an eye-watering test drive in this unique cross between a racing car and a superbike and promptly announced: ‘Like its Jurassic namesake the T-Rex is a carnivore – one that eats cars for lunch’.

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