Turbo Phantom Reverse Trike

Jeff has a pair of great looking reverse trikes (I’ll post his Indycycle soon), and few vehicles I’ve posted here are as rare and special as his Phantom Vehicle Company Turbo Phantom. This is definitely a kit I’d never expected to see in the wild!

The Turbo Phantom was unveiled at the 1978 LA auto show, and then produced in the early 80s, although no more than three were made due to their high cost. The designers were Ron and Lee Will, Ron working at the time at GM as one of the designers of the Corvette (he tested the Phantom in the GM wind tunnel) — after working on the Phantom he joined the staff of Subaru where he was the main force behind the Subaru Outback. This very wide (around seven feet) trike was powered by a Honda Goldwing, had VW front suspension and MG steering, and had a 0-60 time of about 6 seconds, a top speed as high as 140 mph, and turned at 0.82g. The body was built using a urethane foam and fibreglass sandwhich (like the RQ Riley designs such as the Tri-Magnum) and had an integrated steel roll cage. When the canopy opened, the steering column and dashboard lifted along with it.

Anyway, as I said, at most three of these were made — more likely just two — and one of those was destroyed doing high speed testing on the salt flats. When Ron will died a few years ago, his estate sold the molds for the body to a fiberglass shop, which produced two bodies. One ended up in Virginia (sold at the time for $3,000) and the shop kept the other one — Jeff picked up the Virginia one for $1,000.

He’s designed his own frame using Pontiac Fiero spindles, custom A-arms, coil-over shocks from a 2007 Suzuki GSXR 1000, a modified Porsche 911 steering rack, and a driveline from a 1989 1500cc Honda Goldwing with reverse. It’s not finished yet, but when he’s done with it, it’ll have heat and air conditioning, a rear back-up camera, a safety glass windshield with wiper, and other goodies. I’m dying to see where this amazing project goes. The last photo is of one of the prototypes, and the rest of the pictures are of Jeff’s Turbo Phantom body and chassis.

13 Responses

  1. Bats says:

    I LOVE this thing, it has that early 70’s Sci-fi look I dig yet timeless in design in another way,
    It makes me want a tad pole trike but with this basically being the only one I guess that wont happen,

  2. Rick says:

    I remember drooling over this in Popular Mechanics when I was much younger. I’d been looking for info on it but couldn’t remember the name, and any description I gave got me returns of trivettes or tri-magnums, but not this sweet scary machine.

    Will no more bodies ever be made? are the molds destroyed?

  3. Kevin says:

    Cool looking body, but I believe the front axle is too far back, this sitting on top of the axle design will be dissapointing and gutshaking like driving a cabover truck. This was probably the downfall of the original project.

  4. Randy Rice says:

    Any progress on the world’s best project car? 😉

    thanks for keeping the Dream alive…

  5. jeff england says:

    John Mellberg I am the owner of this body. Im glad to hear Ron Will is alive. I got some bad info from that then. I am trying to get as much info of the originals as possable but there is very little info on the web. If you would could you contact Ron and ask if it would be ok for me to contact him. So i could get some more info about the Turbo Phantom? I would very much apreceate if you could get me in contact with him. Thanks very much. Jeff

  6. Randy Rice says:

    Any progress on tracking down the molds? I’ll resort to fabrication -but a slick fiberglass mold would save six months…

    wanna sell yours?? laughs out loud…

  7. Randy Rice says:

    Love this body…my project is a frontwheel drive custom frame 150 horsepower limited slip for mountain weather-
    I flew Phantoms for the Corps, and this has that B-2 badass look with retro fighter intakes …I have aircraft gauges modified for the car and ejection seat stuff for the seats…
    I’ll pay american dollars for detailed specs and dimensions plus any info you have.
    Thanks “Coyote”

  8. I am on the got trike web site go to it scroll down to bill creese of alvord tx. you can make a mold out of the exhisting body you have and produce many from that. I have been thinking about building a trike and the turbo phantom is awesome. I have built many race cars and just complete several carnival rides (small ferris wheel )

  9. Mark Moody says:

    I am working on building another phantom body.
    I am the guy that sold the body to Jeff.

  10. Ron Will says:

    A very complete photo and written history of the Turbo Phantom can be found at: http://deansgarage.com/2012/ron-wills-turbo-phantom/
    The original Turbo Phantom is now being fully restored to better than original condition.

  11. Max Houston says:

    I’d love one of these cars. Any chance the Turbo Phantom will ever be available again ?

    Max Houston

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