Go Back to Marques and Men PageTrimax

Timax Photo 2.jpg (57817 bytes)The Trimax was the brainchild of Alvin "Spike" Rhiando, one of the most colourful characters in early 500cc racing. Spike was one of the first to order the first production (Mk II) Cooper and in 1948, at the Grand Prix meeting at Silverstone in October, he won from John Cooper with Cooper cars taking the first four places.

Spike decided to built his own car, the design was highly advanced and allowed for three different engines 500, 750 and 1,000 cc hence the Trimax name. It had a monocoque chassis made of Dural sheet with bag tanks contained in the side members (where did Colin Chapmen get the idea for the Lotus 25 from?). Suspension was by trailing arms at the front and swing axles, sprung by adjustable metallastik rubber at the rear. Steering was by an unusual system of chains and cables and a single rear brake operated on the transmission.

Spike claimed that the shape was derived from wind tunnel testing but this may have been psychology. It was well built but a little too large (about 12 feet long) and heavy, in spite of spike's claims to the contrary, and the steering must have been somewhat lacking in feel so only one car was ever built. Trimax made its debut at the Goodwood Easter meeting, 1950, quickly retiring with gear trouble. The season didn't improve greatly, a third in a heat at Brands probably representing the highlight. By the end of the season, Spike sold the car to an American, and would drive Dennis Flather’s Flather Special for 1951. It passed through Harrow Morrow's hands then a season with David Sheldon in '53 and one with Gager in '56 and that was it. After many years in storage, the Trimax was returned to England in 2007 for restoration. and made it to the Goodwood Revival in 2011 where it came home in 15th place, a rather better performance than sixty one years previously.

False start: The Trimax retires with gear trouble on the first lap. Passing by are Don Truman, Austen May, and a significant debutant, Alf Bottoms in the prototype JBS.

Ariving at Goodwood for its debut, 10th April 1950.

Image provided by Michael Aikey.

Cutaway drawing of the Trimax, originally published in "The Autocar".

At Madera Airport, California November 1952

The Trimax approaches the end of its restoration July 2007

The Trimax reviewed in Iota:

And a letter from Iota May 1950

 

Known results for the Trimax:

Goodwood 10th April 1950 Easter Meeting, Spike Rhiando, DNF

Goodwood 27th May 1950 International Trophy, Spike Rhiando, DNF in heat

Brands Hatch 23rd July 1950, Spike Rhiando, 3rd in heat, 4th in production cars heat (sic)

Silverstone 26th August 1950 Daily Express, Spike Rhiando, 14th

 

Pebble Beach, USA 18th April 1953, David Sheldon, 3rd

SCCA National Championship, 1953, David Sheldon, 6th

 

Santa Barbara, USA 17/18th March 1956, Bob Gager, DNF

Pomona, USA 23rd/24th June 1956, Paul Gager, DNF

Pomona, USA 20th/21st October 1956, Paul Gager, DNF in race 1, DNF in race 2

Paramount Ranch, USA 17th/18th November 1956, DNF

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