Thursdays are the blog writers' excuse to talk about the wonderful cars displayed in our Toy Box here at the American Treasure Tour. And we dedicate today to one of the more unusual vehicles on display in the guided section of the collection. The Rupp Centaur was introduced to the world in 1974 in the four most important colors ever - blue, yellow, white and our favorite, red. They were produced for a limited time, only until the next year! That was certainly not Rupp's plan, but forces beyond their control proved impossible to ignore. Forces called the Volkswagen company.
Rupp was originally a producer of motor bikes and snowmobiles, both of which they made to high acclaim and significant popularity. So when they decided to jump into the "roadworthy vehicle" business, they went with the three-wheeled Centaur. They signed an agreement with Volkswagen to use the same engines they produced for their Super Beetle. But then, with the energy crisis and people wanting more fuel-efficient cars, the popularity of the Super Beetle skyrocketed and, with demand for the bug came less availability of their engines. VW jacked the price for engines to sell to Rupp, and Rupp could no longer afford them. They went with the smaller Kohler Company's engines, which caused breakdowns and poor sales. So now, Rupps exist in a few private collections but it's unlikely you will ever see them driving down a city street. Of course, three-wheeled motorcycles are still out there!