186: The Multiplex 186

Today’s julian date is 186 so enjoy The Biggest Little Car In The World

Feast your eyes upon the Multiplex 186


Specifications: Multiplex 186 Open Sports


1207cc air cooled twin; overhead valves with hemispherical combustion chamber; coil ignition, 72 horsepower @ 5800 rpm; 32 miles per gallon.


Tubular truss type; independent front suspension by transverse spring and wishbones; semi-elliptic rear springs; Monromatic shock absorbers; Wagner-Lockheed hydraulic brakes; Ross steering; Borg-Warner transmission and rear end with choice of nine ratios.

  • Wheelbase: 85”
  • Front Track: 46”
  • Rear Track: 45.375”
  • Overall Length: 140.75”
  • Overall Width: 57.375”
  • Height Over Cowl: 36.125”
  • Curb Weight: 910 lbs


Two seat open with aluminum panels over steel framework.


0-60 mph thru gears in 10.5 seconds. Maximum speed: 118 mph.


Multiplex 186 Brochure #2: (1955)

As you review the details below, Multiplex had already changed from their initial engine plans from an air cooled Harley Davidson motor, to a Singer motor (click here for more information), and finally settled on an a Willys F head engine – 4 or 6 cylinder.


You’ll notice that the photos are actually from the Atlas / Allied Fiberglass Company (Kinch, Burke, Thompson) and are being re-purposed in the Multiplex brochure – now revealing why Multiplex had such nice photos from Allied in the Crispin photo archive.

Click here for photos of the Allied Swallow Coupe

Click here for photos of the Allied Falcon Roadster

Now Multiplex Manufacturing of Berwick Pennsylvania had a chassis, engine, and body – all was set. Let’s see their brochure and what they were offering in ’55.


Multiplex 186: Multiplex Manufacturing Company Brochure (1955)
Berwick, Pennsylvania

The Multiplex 186 has been designed, developed and thoroughly tested by men with many years of racing experience and sport car enthusiasm. These men have “tailored” the car to suit the discriminating taste of both the sport and competition enthusiast.


The “186” is entirely constructed of parts and materials of United States origin…and all parts are readily obtainable for repairs are replacements. New chassis design permits the incorporation of extremely low overall height without sacrificing headroom. Low center of gravity permits unusually fast “cornering.”

Multiplex 186 Sport Coupe


Multiplex 186 Open Sports


Tubular Truss Type Chassis

Tubular truss type chassis with unusual independent front suspension by transverse spring and wishbones.


Full Multiplex 186 Brochure From 1955:


Multiplex 186: Multiplex Manufacturing Company Brochure (1955)

The following price list is targeted for the later production Multiplex cars using various Willys engines. This is dated mid-year ’55:



Ultimately, three cars were built by Multiplex:

  • The first Multiplex had a coach-built metal body (click here for more detail on the first Multiplex car of the ‘50s). This was built in ’53.
  • The second was a coupe was built using the Allied Swallow body (94” wheelbase) – built in ’54.
  • The third was a roadster using an Allied Falcon body (94” wheelbase) – built in late ’54 or early ’55.
  • A fourth frame was built but never used and later discarded.

Quite a story for a long-standing firm and their entry of well-defined, built, and performing sports cars of the ‘50s.


Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

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