Motorworld’s newspaper №56

In the mids of 1930s, the most of countries had been preparing for the on-coming war. The major countries (Germany, UK, USA, USSR) had been manufacturing trucks from the perspective they’re the most relevant military vehicles in terms of durability & holding capacity. Italy and Japan chose another path – the manufacturing of cargo trikes, which were much cheaper in production and didn’t require special skills to operate.

By 1936, the Japan market was flooded with various three wheelers by different makers, but the major manufacturers were Daihatsu, Mazda and New Era. At this, each region had its own market leader: Iwasaki and Wellby in Tokyo; Iwasaki, HMC, Tsubasa in Osaka; Mizuno in Aichi.

Daihatsu SB-7, 1937 from the «Motorworld by V.Sheynov» collection

The HMC company (Hyogo Motors Company) was located in Kobe at Hyogo and had been manufacturing cargo trikes. No much is known about HMC because the works including all documents were destroyed during the American bomb attacks in WWII. Therefore, all documents & records associated with all the production have gone forever. Almost every Japanese cargo trike was destroyed before the war end, so we have only a few footprints left by those machines.

In November 1932, Hyogo Motor Manufacturing Co. has placed an order for Megro Manufacturing Co., Ltd. for manufacturing of an engine for a small tricycle, which was to bear the HMC marque. As a sample, an engine by MAG was chosen that were used for Motosacoche motorcycles. One month later, in December 1932, HMC introduced Hyogo trike equipped with a 500 cc overhead valve one-cylinder engine.

Kurogane Type 95 auto

The HMC 1500 cc hosted by the Motoworld of Vyacheslav Sheyanov equipped with an engine identical to that used in Kurogane Type 95 – a 1500 cc overhead valve four-stroke double-cylinder V-engine with capacity of 29 h.p. It’s an air-cooled engine having an aluminium cylinder head and a dry crankcase is made integral with a three-speed gearbox.

 

Restoration

The HMC trike from the Vyacheslav Sheyanov’s collection was assembled into one machine using two donor tricycles.
Both were found in Vladivostok. They had been brought after the WWII end as a war booty

Restoration of this rare trike (engine number 16500, chassis number 25218) was delegated to Costantino Frontalini who is not only our good friend but also a crackerjack.

Let’s give him the floor:
“When we received the machine, it was in the state of disrepair or, more precisely, beyond recovery. The majority of components was missing and the remainder was worn out. The rear part of the body was completely damaged and unserviceable. Along with that, we received the fragments of another HMC cargo tricycle, which was used as a donor for the first one. Full absence of any historical documents made us to perform our own investigations with assistance from collectors and the Japanese museums. We had to gather all necessary info to restore the trike as similar to the original one.

We have completely restored the body. The engine was blocked so we put a lot of efforts into the repair. We found traces of the original paintwork on a piece of the chassis and suggested to paint the trike into this colour. The colour we found was untypical for a military machine. We think it has civil origin. This fact is supported by a historical standpoint: many civil cargo trikes has been widely used for military purposes in order to minimize the military costs and to speed up the delivery of supplies. Those machines were left in the original state or had been repainted into the same colour (but a little more blind hue was used). Seats were covered with brown leather, which was originally used in the Japanese military vehicles. We were lucky to get the documents having the logo and the HMC inscription. We have transferred the logo and inscription into digital form, restored them and transferred onto the petrol tank and chassis”.

 

 

Manufacturer Hyogo Motor Manufacturing Co. (HMC)
Years of manufacture 1930s
Quantity produced, units N/A
Price N/A
Today’s value N/A
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
Type V-twin, OHV, 4 stroke, air-cooled
Engine capacity, cc 1500
Bore and stroke, mm N/A
Engine rating 29 hp
Sparking Magneto
Carburetor Magdiano
Battery N/A
Clutch N/A
Transmission 3-speed
FRAME AND WHEELBASE
Frame type Steel
Front suspension Springer
Rear suspension Leaf springs
Brakes Drum type
Wheel size N/A
DIMENSIONS
Length, mm 3 500*
Width, mm 1 580*
Height, mm 1 300*
Wheelbase, mm 2 400*
Ground clearance, mm 150*
Seat height, mm 900*
Mass, kg N/A
Carrying capacity, kg 1000
Gas tank size, l 15
Maximum speed, km/h
 80
Range, km N/A

* – Data on the results of the measurement at the exhibit of “Motorworld by V.Sheyanov”.