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1904. Vessa, Chios, Greece, 2014.
For Stephania

1904. Vessa, Chios, Greece, 2014.

For Stephania

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Threewheeler decay (1). Dead, engineless “Cretan-type agricultural threewheeler”, most probably a Record ΓΣ6 (1967), manufactured in Heraklion, Crete. Elata, Chios, Greece, 2014.

Threewheeler decay (1). Dead, engineless “Cretan-type agricultural threewheeler”, most probably a Record ΓΣ6 (1967), manufactured in Heraklion, Crete. Elata, Chios, Greece, 2014.

Photoset

Engine flywheels (me thinks). Top: Emporio, Santorini, Greece, 2010. Bottom: Mesta, Chios, Greece, 2014.

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SAINT JOHN (!) / ΑΓΙΟΣ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΣ (μεγάλη η χάρη του!). Lithi, Chios, Greece, 2014.

SAINT JOHN (!) / ΑΓΙΟΣ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΣ (μεγάλη η χάρη του!). Lithi, Chios, Greece, 2014.

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Κ. Ι. Piperis. 30 July 1914. Aghios, northern Euboea, Greece, late July 2014.

Κ. Ι. Piperis. 30 July 1914. Aghios, northern Euboea, Greece, late July 2014.

Photoset

OK, forget now all those city-street threewheelers we’ve seen up to now. Today Grelicks is proudly introducing a different generic type of threewheeler: the agricultural threewheeler made in Greece. Produced locally by a multitude of small companies in the ’60s and mainly the ’70s, they became the Greek farmer’s working mule - until it became possible for him to own a pick-up truck made in Japan. The small companies manufacturing these could be found in Athens (Diana, Zeus Hellas), Volos (Dimitra) - but mainly in Crete, with distinctive “Cretan” names (Candia, Minotavros [Minotaure - check this link for many historic photos of the company’s products], Knossos, Phaistos, Minos, Talos) or not (Record, Jupiter). That’s why the expert in this field, Lambros S. Skartsis, qualifies this type of vehicle as the “Cretan-type agricultural threewheeler" (1995:118-126; 2003/2007:236-247; 2012:151-160).

They were ugly; they were pathetically slow; and they were terribly noisy! And they had a huge success! Nowadays, I had never seen them elsewhere but on the island of Chios - but, there, they were everywhere (I expect that’s also the case in Crete - see also this superb colour photo by didmyself reblogged by myolddear). I spoke to a number of owners, who could only tell me that “yes, these were made in Greece, by some company in Crete”… (one owner also remembered the company in Volos). One of the people I talked to gave me an explanation as to why these contraptions are still popular: they are narrow enough, so they can circulate in the narrow streets of old villages, where larger pick-up trucks can’t…

Don’t expect a high level of standardisation - even for the same “model” by the same manufacturer (and in this series I will not even try to identify manufacturers and models). Others had a “car” steering wheel, others not. Others used gasoline and others diesel. Engine-wise, some were fitted with the ubiquitous Sachs, others with the Italian-designed Ruggerini produced locally in Greece, others with the more modern Rotax - and many many more.

For my part, I hereby present (for starters!) three different examples of the Cretan-type agricultural threewheeler based on external appearance: a) Closed-cabin, b) covered engine but open cabin, c) completely open. All three photographed in Chios villages (Elata, Vessa, Mesta, respectively), 2014.

Many more to come - YOU’VE BEEN WARNED! STILL TIME TO UNFOLLOW!

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Μαγγανοπήγαδο / Noria at the Citrus / Memories estate. Originally driven by a donkey, then by a stationary engine. Kambos, Chios, Greece, 2014.

Μαγγανοπήγαδο / Noria at the Citrus / Memories estate. Originally driven by a donkey, then by a stationary engine. Kambos, Chios, Greece, 2014.

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Monumental… (sort of). An open light threewheeler “displayed” within the compound of a scrap-metal business (see also here). I should have used the 105mm, and not the 50mm, but then… Aghios, northern Euboea, Greece, 2014.

Monumental… (sort of). An open light threewheeler “displayed” within the compound of a scrap-metal business (see also here). I should have used the 105mm, and not the 50mm, but then… Aghios, northern Euboea, Greece, 2014.

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Maria. Avgonima, Chios, 2014.

Maria. Avgonima, Chios, 2014.

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Jasmin. Vessa, Chios, Greece, 2014.

Jasmin. Vessa, Chios, Greece, 2014.