The Vanderhall Venice6:53:00 PM
The Vanderhall Venice may drive like a car, but this three wheel motorcycle is more fun per gallon than just about any sports car you can buy and more practical than a traditional two-wheel motorcycle.
The GM-sourced 1.4-liter Turbo is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels and provides plenty of power. The optional left-hand manual shifter is a must on the Venice if you plan on canyon carving, and that is the kind of spirited driving the Venice was built for.
The Venice is as simple to drive as any other car, but it provides the out in the elements thrill of a motorcycle. The sense of speed is amazing and at just under 1,400 lbs, with its wide wheels and tires, it feels like it is on rails in the corners. The driving experience is what the Venice is all about, while it is completely modern under the hood, it makes you feel like you are piloting a classic open sports car from the 30's. The wind, noise, and speed are intoxicating.
Inside the Venice's sparse cabin you find a beautiful wood steering wheel, a timeless instrument cluster, and a few welcome creature comforts like a heater, Bluetooth audio system, and heated seats. My tester also had the optional aluminum floor panels and foot rests which really added to the sporty feel of the interior. I would love to see an engine-turned aluminum dash option to really callback the classic pre-war sports cars that it reminds me of.
The Venice is an attention-getter and everywhere you go people want to ask you about it. It is not for people who are shy or don't like attention. At the gas station, parking lots, even at stop lights everyone wanted to know something about this wild three-wheeled machine. People asked how long the restoration took or if it was something I had built, but most were surprised to find out it was brand new and made in the USA. I drove the Vanderhall Laguna last year and while it drew a crowd as well, it felt like the Venice had more of a cool factor, I attribute that to the raw nature of it, the lack of doors and the lean look it has. The styling is shockingly modern with just enough vintage touches that it feels like a classic.
After driving it for a week there were a few minor issues had with the Venice. Firstly I love road tripping and I can think of nothing better than taking the Venice up the coast for a long weekend with a friend, sadly there is virtually zero luggage space. The small cubby hole behind the seats can only be accessed by sliding the seat forward leaving a fairly small gap to access the storage area. Putting a flip forward hinge on the passenger seat would make access much easier, but it would still be far too small for two people to have a getaway weekend. Secondly, a small lockable compartment would be nice, just as a place to keep registration, insurance cards, a cell phone, or other small valuables you might not want to carry around, say if you went to the beach.
I would also love to see a tonneau cover with zip-out sections like my classic British sports cars have always had. It would provide a little security when parking out in public, protect the interior when not in use, and it would look really cool when driving by yourself with the single cockpit opening. I am sure an owner could have one made, but a factory option would be nice.
Other than the lack of storage, I have to say the Venice is by far my favorite cycle-car from Vanderhall yet and starting at $29,950 an exceptional value considering it is a handbuilt low-volume specialty vehicle that gets as much attention as a supercar.
To learn more or to place an order for your very own Vanderhall Venice visit Vanderhall.com/venice
also check out The Gentleman Racer on YouTube too for videos from my time with the Venice including our photo shoot with model Kiara Jassmin.
Special thanks to Shane Bailey for contributing photos to this story.