The hidden dangers of a Sinclair C5 If we'd known
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in 1985 that the Sinclair 05 was about to go the same way as Betamax, we probably wouldn't have bothered running this story. But back then, Sir Clive was confident of shifting 100,000 units a year and, like a lot of people, we believed him. There was a fear that these electric trikes, with a top speed of 12mph, were about to become a common sight on Britain's roads, and the industry was worried. Were we really allowing a 31in-high three-wheeler, powered by a modified washing machine motor, driven by unlicensed 14-year-olds, to share the road with 38-tonne trucks?
What did CM think? To form an opinion, on one winter morning CM's technical writer Brian Weatherley and assistant technical writer Bryan Jarvis decided to hit the roads in a Sinclair 05 and one of the UK's first ever Scania P92M tractor units — and Weatherley drew the short straw!
They proved how easy it was to hide one in an unsuspecting truck driver's blind spot, and quickly came to the conclusion that it was indeed very dangerous.
"We advise lorry drivers to give them a wide berth," they wrote.
Fortunately for the haulage industry, the buying public gave them a wide berth too, and just 12,000 found buyers.