The Avro monocar, 1926.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Designed by the aircraft manufacturer Sir Alliot Verdon-Roe, this vehicle can be regarded as either a feet first motorcycle or a two-wheeled car. As such it is designed to combine the handling, traffic negotiating ability and fuel economy of a motorcycle with the safety and protection from the weather provided by a car. A number of attempts have been made to produce such a hybrid vehicle, from the Wilkinson in 1909 to the BMW C1 in 2000, but none have been entirely succesful in terms of generating sales. Verdon-Roe apparently regularly used one of his monocars to drive between Southampton, Manchester and London.