Invalid carriage

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Before modern electric mobility scooters were designed, "invalid carriage" meant a small gasoline/petrol-powered one-seated road vehicle designed to be driven by a disabled person, as shown in many of the images in this Google search. They were usually designed without foot-operated controls.

AC built invalid carriage 1976

Invalid carriages were low-cost low-maintenance vehicles, designed specifically for people with physical disabilities. Production of them stopped in 1976, and the last were withdrawn from the road in 2003, though some still exist, including a 1976 example, one of the last made, on display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu in Hampshire, England.[1]

Makers of invalid carriages included AC Cars in England,[2] Fend in West Germany,[3] Simson DUO in East Germany,[4] SMZ in the Soviet Union and Velorex in Czechoslovakia.[5][6]

The Duo was made initially by VEB Fahrzeugbau und Ausrüstungen Brandis (VEB FAB) from 1973 until 1978, whereupon manufacture was transferred to VEB Robur, more famous for making trucks in Zittau. Because many of the components are common with the Simson, the Duo is often classified as a Simson. Production ceased in 1989.

In Britain in the 1960s and 1970s, invalid carriages were provided as a subsidised low-cost vehicle to aid mobility of people with disabilities.

Vehicles supplied by the National Health Service had 3 wheels, were very lightweight, and therefore their suitability on roads among other traffic was often considered dubious on safety grounds.[citation needed] Invalid-carriages are banned from motorways.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Motor Museum (UK): List of Vehicles in the Collection
  2. ^ MOTABILITY 2005: Opening doors Independent, The (London), Jun 28, 2005 by Andrew Jeffrey - accessed 10 July 2008.
  3. ^ Wagner, Carl (Second Quarter 1973). ""Ist das nicht ein Kabinenroller?" "Ja! das ist ein Kabinenroller!" Carl Wagner takes off on Messerschmitt". Automobile Quarterly (in US English). 40 East 49th Street, New York, NY 10017 USA: Automobile Quarterly Inc. 11 (2): 164. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 62-4005.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ [1] Duo 4-5 Schwalbennest Simson und mehr - accessed 06 Feb 2011.