The Ollearo “moto-van” (la motovetturetta)

Enrico Ollearo
Motovetturetta Ollearo Tipo 1934

Motovetturetta Ollearo type 1934

In March 1934 at the Turin cycle and motorcycle fair, Ollearo present a three-wheeled vehicle for people transport, built using the short chassis of the motorbike van with a 500 cc engine equipped with reverse gear.
The body is a “torpedo” type, set up by the Parri company, in Turin, specialized in the construction of motorcycle sidecars.
The engine remains covered by the metal plate bonnete, the handlebar is built in order to have a relaxed ride, the instrumentation (odometer and clock on the tank) is the same mounted on the bikes, the brake works with pedal on the rear wheels and lever on the handlebar for the front wheel, the wheels are spoked with 19 x 4 inch tires.
The vehicle shape looks like a turtle, the driver is sitting mounted on the frame and the two passengers are seated on a single seat behind him: this obviates the car registration obligations thus avoiding the need to obtain a driving license guide and age limits, all benefits the economy and the ecclesiastical clientele of Ollearo.
The engine features a strong torque at low revs and like on the motorcycles the clutch in oil bath allows a good resistance to stress.
The moto-van “motovetturetta Ollearo” demonstrates exceptional stability, tending to the drift rather than the overturn, thanks to the wheels position that create an equilateral triangle.

Motovetturetta Ollearo tipo 1935

Motovetturetta Ollearo type 1935

During the Milan Cycle and Motorcycle Show of 1935 a new model is presented, which differs from the first especially in the body, which is now much more modern and closer to the automotive style.
The body is buit by another coachbuilder, “Chiabra and Bertolino” specialized in automobiles, .
The new car, with the fake hood, the fake front fenders and the wheels borrowed from the Fiat Balilla, almost gives the impression of a four-wheeler car, resulting modern and harmonious.
Despite the potential of the moto-van, which is able to couple cars and motorcycles in a single vehicle that costs like a motorcycle and offers the advantages of the car, success will not be lasting, mainly due to the birth of the Fiat 500 “Topolino” that will bring the italian interests in the four wheels, now economically more affordable.

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