ROBERT Moss’s Mosquito car is alive and well – and living in France.

Our story about the car built by the Kidlington businessman in 1971 (Memory Lane, October 15) caused quite a stir among enthusiasts of the marque.

As we recalled, Mr Moss, founder of the Kidlington plastics firm, Robert Moss Ltd, and an enthusiast of Morgan three-wheelers, sketched his design on a piece of paper while on holiday in Madeira in 1970.

It took him 1,012 hours to complete the Mosquito, and it cost just £434 in materials.

His wife Madge took it on its maiden journey.

Following our story, Damien Lescroart wrote: “I am proud to tell you that Mr Moss’s car still exists. It now belongs to a friend called Jacques in France. My friend also owns another Mosquito and I also own one.

“These are the only Mosquitos in France.”

Another reader, John Woodward, tells me that a friend in Thame owns a Mosquito and another friend once owned a Trimin, a later version of the vehicle.

One of the early owners of a Mosquito was Bill Faulkner, of the Oxford-based Faulkners Motorcycles.

About 24 of the cars were produced between 1971 and 1993 and such is the interest in them that a website has been set up, explaining the history of the model and listing present and past owners.

It can be found at http:// Mr Moss was inspired to build the car by Owen Greenwood, who switched from racing motorcycles to sidecars in the 1960s.

Mr Greenwood built a controversial sidecar powered by a Mini engine and with a five-speed gearbox. It had four wheels instead of three, and the rider/driver sat in a seat with a steering wheel, not on a saddle and holding handlebars.

Not unexpectedly, his competitors protested at the vehicle, which was closer to a car than a sidecar, and it was eventually banned from the sport. But his invention intrigued Mr Moss, who hand-built his three-wheel Mosquito, registration number ABW5J.

At about the same time, Kim Argyle, who had helped Mr Moss, built three identical cars and named them Trimin – they became Q44JJO, GOM666D and Trimin3. Trimin3 was a single seat version built with the idea of attempting the land speed record.

A few years later, Mr Moss decided to put the Mosquito into production. Six were built, before production stopped and the moulds were stored.

However, a Hereford motorcycle shop, Mead and Tomkins, expressed an interest in resurrecting the project and Mr Moss agreed to sell the moulds. Three more Mosquitos were built.

Another attempt to revive production was made in the 1990s. About 10 vehicles were built, similar to the Mosquito, but by now called Triads.

  • Mr Lescroart would be pleased to hear from readers with information or pictures about the three-wheelers. Email or write to Damien Lescroart, Mosquito & Triad Register, 6 bis Hameau du Fresne, 14370 Argences, France.

Robert Moss sponsored a rally team in the early 1970s, Team Robert Moss, with driver John Jago and Richard Wooldridge.