It's not a car, it's a motorcyle
Anyone who drives or walks near the railroad on Clark Street near West Superior must be puzzled by four unusual vehicles for sale in front of the TP Ventures shop.
Though owner Tim Ellens has been in the business of auto repair and used car sales at his shop, he is selling all four new “Snyder” vehicles, which are classified as motorcycles, even though each has a radio, internal cumbustion engine, four doors, a sunroof, heater, four roll-up windows and windshield wipers. If it looks like a car, drives like a car and operates like a car, it’s a car.
But it’s not.
The Snyder is an innovative motorcycle with a five-gallon gas tank and most of the amenities of a car. Ellens said he’s selling each for just shy of $7,000 and each 2012 model boasts of up to 70 miles per gallon of gas.
Each one also is purported to be able to go as fast as 85 miles an hour on the highway, but Ellens said, “So they say, but I’m not about to try it.”
Ellens, who has owned TP Ventures on Clark Street for eight years after retiring from Ellens Machinery, said he purchased them from Wildfire Motors in Steubenville, Ohio, after he received a flyer in the mail seeking Snyder dealers in Michigan. He said he is the first in this state to sell them.
The motorcycles were manufactured in China, which gives Ellens mixed emotions because “I bought American cars all my life and most of my customers were American car manufacturers.”
Though retired, Ellens said he thought it would be fun to try to sell such a unique vehicle, and with the price of gasoline continuing to rise, threatening to go over $4 a gallon, there just might be a market.
He said people who have thought about buying traditional motorcycles, but don’t like the weather hassles, might find the Snyder just the ticket.
Ellens said he doesn’t know Snyder’s first name, but Wildfire Motors is actively selling the three-wheeled vehicles. The Wildfire web site claims, “The Snyder ST600-C has a 586cc high performance liquid cooled engine, and a four-speed manual transmission with reverse. Up to 60 miles per gallon at 50 mph. This is a great vehicle to beat high gas prices.”
Before Ellens went into the auto sales and repair business, he and his wife, Peggy, owned a farm in Hopkins Township for 30 years. They have three children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
For more information, call (616) 299-1840.
PHOTO: Tim Ellens shows off a couple of the unique vehicles in front of his business on Clark Street in Wayland.