© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
The Minneapolis Motorcycle Company advertised the Tri-Car as "a throughly reliable, dependable and guaranteed car," not "a motorcycle equipped with a makeshift van.” But, it was essentially a three-wheeled, 5 hp single-cylinder motorcycle with a storage box mounted between the two front wheels. Joe Michaelson designed the Minneapolis motorcycle engine, and he and brothers Jack, Walter, and Anton developed its sister motorcycle, the Michaelson.
It appears that Juneau resident Harry Raymond bought the “one-lunger” Tri-Car, which was well known for its noisy cough. “When it started up the street the sourdoughs took to the hills for the noise it emitted was like nothing ever heard before in Alaska,” according to one reporter. “Mothers used to scare their children by even mentioning the ‘terrible monster’.”
The Tri-Car’s next owner used it to deliver ice, “and with age its explosive qualities in the matter of sound only increased.” It must have been quite a spectacle in Juneau!
The Tri-Car will be featured in the museum's soon-to-be-published book, "Extreme Motoring: Alaska's First Automobiles and Their Dauntless Drivers."
Are you coming to Fairbanks to see the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum and other area attractions? Support the museum by staying right here at Wedgewood Resort.