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|"QUANTUM SHOT" #645(rev) |
Link - article by Avi Abrams
World's Smallest Vehicles: Some Are Ugly, Some Are Cute, All Are Fondly Remembered
As today's economy continues to shake and stagger, most people find themselves in the "savings" and "fuel efficiency" mode when it comes to cars - and so the idea of small, easy to park and to maintain micro cars remains popular. Plus even from purely design and vintage collector's viewpoint, these cars can possess more cuteness and nostalgia factor than your favorite childhood toys. Just like a well-worn toy teddy bear, they are extremely cuddly and adorable.
Some of these models provoke immediate "love it" or "hate it" response... Enjoy this collection and do not miss Part 1 and Part 2 of this popular series.
Want a small pickup truck? Austin A-35 fits the bill:
Italian Vespa company made not only the famous scooters, but also cars (1958):
Hungary produced many cute/ugly models of micro cars in the 1950s. Here is Alba Regia (left) and Balaton (right), 1956:
(bottom left: 1954 prototype Uttoro; bottom right: Alba Regia)
Is this car frowning? is it grumpy? "Balaton", again:
How many people fit in the car on the left? You must be kidding me:
For a more exhaustive look at all Hungarian micro-car models, click here.
Variations of Goggomobile, Spain:
Dinarg D-200, also from Argentina, has somewhat haughty and slightly stuck-up demeanor. This model is from 1962:
NSU Prinz I, II, III and 30 - from Argentina:
NSU Prinz 4 shown below is better known to Russian people as the "New Zaporozhetz" ZAZ-966 - another example of "swiped" design by Soviet automakers:
(left: NSU, via - right: ZAZ, Russia)
NSU Wankel Spider sported some pleasant lines, even though it was really tiny:
Skoda in the Prague Airport:
Marathon Corsair had style, too:
German Champion 400, 1953 - more info - also was a convertible:
(images via 1, 2)
Very attractive Crosley convertible from 1947:
There was Crosley station wagon, Crosley "Scorpion", 1952:
... and even Crosley Little Chief fire truck (1950):
What about today?
Speaking of modern small and micro cars, this example from Lancia, Italy, looks pretty inviting and classy:
Nissan Figaro from 1991 had some sophisticated roof retraction mechanism:
Rarities of the micro kind
Here is a microcar starring in one Soviet movie... and a green bubble car, blown to some frightening proportions:
Then there were micro cars, small concept cars and hot rods that defied characterization. Some of them were designed by George Barris (known as the King of Kustomizers), or Ed Roth, and looked like something from Hot Wheels back catalog:
("Orbitron", by Ed Roth, more info)
And we can't forget the sinister "Hannibal" car from the 1965 movie "The Great Race", full of James Bond-worthy tricky gadgetry:
Small Cars in Vintage Rally Competitions
Ideally suited for narrow European roads... and immensely photogenic:
(model of Simca 1000 Rallye 2, Rali de Monte Carlo 1973, via)
(Mini at Monte Carlo Rally, via)
Racing micro-cars seems like fun - more info:
Amazingly, even with three articles in this series, we did not cover all microcar models... One good source for collectors is Microcar Club page and Wiki's List of Microcars by country of origin. Also of interest is Minutia - MicroCars Club Magazine. Stay tuned from more coverage of unique vintage automobiles.
CONTINUE TO THE NEXT PART! ->
Don't Miss Part 1 of This Series ->
"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"
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