One day you will be seated behind the wheel of your self-driving whatever, reading, posting on Face Book, doing sudoko, when your humdrum life is interrupted by a buzz bomb going around you with two occupants aboard. You only catch a glimpse, but the shape, look and sounds are summed up in one word…fun.
A kind invitation by Campagna Motors of Quebec, sent me up to Mulholland Highway in the foothills north of Los Angeles to experience Campagna’s answer to droll; the T-Rex and the V13R.
After some familiarization and a check ride, I got some time behind the wheel of both these specialty vehicles.
Motorcycle, car, hybrid? Hang your own labels on the sense of pure enjoyment these two little 42 inch high machines provide pulling 1.3 G’s around the corners. For me, I’m instantly hooked.
Looking out the open windscreen, it’s the explosive feeling of driving an open wheel track car. Visceral, close to the earth, and with the scenery whizzing by, it reminds you how much we miss when we enclose ourselves in glass and steel.
Two different vehicles, the V13R is a roadster, powered by a Harley Davidson 1.2L V-Twin producing 122 HP with a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds.
The T-Rex is a different beast, getting its churn from a 1.6 Liter BMW motor producing 160 HP at 7700RPM’s, sprinting to 60 MPH in just 3.9 seconds.
Both1200 pounds and belt driven, a sequential gearbox hooks power to the easy to spin rear wheel.
Even in jaded L.A. traffic, motorists gawked, and the Campagna T-Rex and V13R convey instant celebrity. A Porsche pulled us over just to ask about our rides, and the Campagna reps patiently answered the same questions they always get, usually ending with, “where can I buy one”?
Some things to know; first, they’re not toys, and secondly, they aren’t cheap at somewhere between $50-$60,000. But this kind of quality costs money to produce and the kind of performance offered is staggering for the price.
And when you need an oil change or maintenence, owners can have their machines serviced by any good BMW or Harley motorcycle shop.
Also, laws vary from state to state so you have to check with your DMV as to needing a motorcycle license and/or helmet to drive the T-Rex and V13R.
Finally, I’m having a private client test drive party next spring in Chicago as I just can’t imagine keeping this much joy to myself.
Dave Miller drives the fastest, coolest, sexiest cars on the planet. He travels the world uncovering the hidden gems in luxury transportation, meeting the owners, and connecting with extraordinary car enthusiasts. Dave is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and writes for various publications.
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