Ajatar 2 – Sleeping beauty back on the road

History

Some years ago I was told that a wreck of a velomobile (”Kinneri” in finnish) was to be thrown away. I went to check this, not expecting too much. What I found was a sleeping beauty (and not a beast). I fell in love and rescued the lady to my garage.

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She was built around 1950 somewhere in Southern Ostrobothnia, Finland. A boys’ magazine published the building instructions. Some tens of velomobiles were then built in barns and garages using innovative spare materials found in farms and recycled bike parts. Not many exist today.

Project

I started a renovation project with my kids. We spent quite many evenings getting pieces apart, fixing, and trying to find acceptable materials and replacements. This was not a reconstruction operation by-the-book. A  conservator would be terrified by our methods. We just wanted to fix this and enjoy rides. A friend (also a velomobile enthusiast) supported us to fix the steering mechanism.

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Results

We had a deadline.  A gathering of old vehicles was taking place in one Saturday in June (Mobilia, Kangasala) and we wanted to drive in to the show. We were ready night before with fresh paint. She got name ”Ajatar 2”.

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Adventures

Ajatar 2 has had many great adventures. Due to the dimensions inside the ”cabin” an adult can’t drive her. Hence the velomobile is for kids only. And that is good.

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Mainokset

4 kommenttia artikkeliin ”Ajatar 2 – Sleeping beauty back on the road

  1. Nicolas Mesnage 23.1.2015 / 19:18

    Nice job !! Thank you for sharing, you can be proud of your skill !
    Wonderful velomobile with its ”old school” line, even more appealing than the Mochet I mean (and I’m French !)
    May I ask some questions I could’nt check by myself on the pictures ?
    – Why are the front wheels equipped with bicycle forks on some pictures ?
    – Is the hand-break only installed on the back wheel ?

    Tykkää

    • pketola 25.1.2015 / 20:26

      Hi! Thanks.

      In the original velomobile, the 10mm bicycle axles were not strong enough. They bent too easily. This was probably a major problem with the original version as well. There were too obvious options for fixing this. Either find wheels with stronger axles or doing something else. I didn’t have proper wheels but I had some unused bike bodies to provide the forks. It was rather simple to add the forks and fix the problem (with a little help from a person with welding equipment). I admit, they are not very beautiful…

      Yes, hand-brake goes to back wheel. The original had coaster brakes in the back wheel (and no gears). I added the derailleur gears. The hand-brake and gear shifter are in the same component.

      By the way, the steering wheel is made from our old lamp stand.

      Tykkää

      • Nicolas Mesnage 25.1.2015 / 21:02

        Hi!
        thanks for your answer. Shure, a stronger axle, like on the Cannondale Lefty fork, could be better for the front wheels, but maybe gives a too ”modern” look to be fine.
        According to the pictures, your countryside looks rather flat. It’s better with only one break on the rear wheel !! (on my velomobile, this would sound like suicide 😦 )

        Tykkää

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