You’ve likely seen one of these three-wheeled “motorcycles,” at least in pictures, but what’s the story behind them? These are Harley-Davidson Servi-Cars that were manufactured from 1932 to 1973. They were designed during the Great Depression as a way to increase Harley’s product base by providing a vehicle for commercial use.
The Servi-Cars were originally designed for car dealers and repair shops to be able to pick up and drop off their customers’ cars. There was a hitch stored in the cargo box so it could be towed by a car and this allowed one employee to be able to pick up and drop off the car.
Shortly after they came out, their usefulness was discovered and they started being utilized by police and fire departments, businesses, mobile vendors, and even by the military. Not only was their utility attractive, but also they were less expensive to purchase and operate than an automobile. The three wheels allowed them to navigate some of the rough roads of that era better than a motorcycle. If you have a chance to check one out in person, I highly recommend it.