There have been all kinds of vehicles built in the recorded history of man, all the way from one wheel bicycles and even a one wheel motorcycle to multi wheeled cars and trucks.
A gentleman named Milton Reeves raised this question in the early 1900's, using the Pullman train coach as his example, he stated that "the Pullman coach rides so smooth on eight wheels, maybe automobiles should be built likewise".
There were several automobiles built with more than 4 wheels, but none so awesome as the 1911 Reeves Octo-Auto, a monstrous 8 wheeled behemoth.
Reeves in using the Pullman coach as his model for the Octo-Auto, neglected to take into consideration one small fact, that the Pullman ran on a smooth continuous rail and never ventured onto the American back road nightmare that was to most drivers a necessity to navigate. While the Octo-Auto was indeed a very smooth ride on smooth surfaces, it was completely uncontrollable on the normal rutted and pitted roads that existed everywhere except in the most affluent of cities.
Another thing Reeves glossed over was that the added weight coupled with a very small four cylinder engine made quick starts out of the question as the Octo-Auto had to build up speed very slowly similar to a train. Add to that the fact that all those added parts were break-down prone and as a result the Octo-Auto never seriously became a player in the new automobile industry.
Reeves, not to be dissuaded from his idea brought out a six-wheeled vehicle named Sexto-Auto in 1912, which failed for the same reasons as the Octo-Auto.
There have been numerous attempts to sell the American auto buyer on three wheel vehicles, but to no avail, so I guess that means that four wheels are just right!
BS Brash’s Email Address is BSB@BSBrash.com
Copyright BS Brash 2006