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The airplane-shaped Feora

The airplane-shaped Feora

Nov. 23, 1983: Chuck Ophorst, 30, drives down the highway in the three-wheeled airplane-shaped Feora he designed and built in 1981.

Times staff writer Lee Harris reported:

PARAMOUNT – When Chuck Ophorst drives around town in his home-built cars, people take note.

Eyes pop. Heads turn. Fingers point.

Policemen especially notice Ophorst’s Feora. Shaped like an airplane, the three-wheel vehicle can reach speeds up to 95 mph.

“The very first time I took the Feora out, I was doing about 60 miles per hour down Paramount Boulevard,” Ophorst recalled. “A policemen followed me for a distance before he stopped me. He said he kept waiting for the car to take off and fly.”

The 30-year-old Paramount resident said he is often stopped by police officers, “not to give me tickets but just out of curiosity.”

Many of the officers, Ophorst said, will call for additional units because “they want witnesses to confirm their sanity.”

The Feora, one of two cars Ophorst has designed and built, is real enough. It weighs more than 500 pounds. The fiberglass body sits on three motorcycle tires. The machine is powered by a Honda engine.

There is only room enough for Ophorst’s 6-foot-3 frame in the cockpit. Barbara, his wife of eight months, rides in the rear.

Ophorst’s other vehicle – the Magnum – was described in Harris’ article as looking “like an enclosed boat sailing about the streets.”

Two additional photos of Ophorst and the Feora were published on page 87 of the Dec. 1981 edition of Popular Mechanics, online at Google Books.

This photo by former staff photographer Rick Corrales accompanied Harris’ article in the Nov. 27, 1983, Los Angeles Times Southeast Edition.

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