The Rise and Fall of the Spunticle


The story of Britain's least-appreciated inventor

Last week, we learned of Albert's brave foray into the world of environmentally friendly urban personal transportation. In this installment, we shall look more closely at the Spunticle, and why this brave design masterwork - far ahead of its time and grossly underappreciated - failed to take off commercially.


TV advertisement - 1986


This gyro-stabilised, eco-friendly roadster was designed partly in response to complaints about poor visibility from its Sinclair-built rival's low-riding seat; a shape which allegedly made the Spunticle dangerous on the roads.

Connecting your Spuntridge Portable Music Trailer to your Spunticle for on the move Audiospunting.

  • Remove the decorative rear storage area to gain access to the decorative tow hook.
  • Detach the decorative tow hook using a Stanley knife
  • Attach the Spuntridge Portable Music Trailer trailing arm to the rear bulkhead using the 6 wood screws supplied, be careful not to screw through any of the 12v power cables embedded in the multi-layered cardboard bulkhead.
  • Solder the supplied Spuntridge Portable Music Trailer power cable with the 'Spuntiloom cable tangle' (red wire to blue, black to red and green to yellow etc.)
  • Replace decorative rear storage area after cutting a hole in it for the wiring to pass through and off you go!

**Warning** the Spuntridge Portable Music Trailer will reduce the range of your Spunticle by approximately 50% at a moderate volume.

Due to the relative low volume output of the device, and the not-insignifigant noise from the gearbox and motor, it is recommended, for best effect to only use the Spuntridge Portable Music Trailer when stationary.

With spiralling costs eventually totalling £3.2bn and each of the 19,000 units produced making a loss of £48,000, Spunt's vast fortune (estimated at £11bn in 1981) was being quickly depleted. The final blow was the tragic 'Spunticle Disaster' , when a specially designed 'Spunticle-route' was inadvertently laid parallel to and in places converging with newly opened M25 resulting  in 232 (of the 341 total) deaths and a national front bumper shortage. Eighteen days of national mourning followed.


A small number of dedicated Spunticle enthusiasts remain in the UK, and an annual Spunticle rally takes place in January, when the steadily decreasing number of mechanics and customisers convene in East Sussex to parade their rides around the top of Beachy Head.

Images from N Korean state television

The Spunticle still has a major following in North Korea where the units, made under licence, still account for 18% of the vehicles on the road in Pyongyang (and 62% of the road traffic casualties). Kim Jong-Il is believed to have a fleet of over 20, believed to be upholstered with solid gold.



The story of Britain's least-appreciated inventor