Automotive enthusiasts might know the story of the Dale three-wheeled car, the promising early-‘70s vehicle that was going to “…put Detroit out of business.” But there’s a lot more to the story than that. Oh man.
The Dale itself was a timely idea. It arrived smack in the middle of the 1973-1974 OPEC oil embargo that had every Malaise-era car owner in America lining up for blocks to get gas. That embargo eventually raised the price of a gallon of fuel by 300 percent. People were getting desperate. Right then, the three-wheeled, two-seated Dale appeared, promising 70 mpg and a sticker price of under $2000.
Give the people what they want.
The Dale concept was originally thought up and a prototype was made by a guy named Dale Clift. Then Elizabeth “Liz” Carmichael made Clift a deal, promising him $3 million in profits if she took over production and