drb
logo
airplanes | animals | architecture | art | auto | boats | famous | cool ads | funny pics | food | futurism | gadgets | history | japan
military | music | nature | photo | russia | sci-fi | signs | space | sports | steampunk | technology | trains | travel | vintage | weird


Adorable Micro Cars, Part 3


"QUANTUM SHOT" #645
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.




(images via 1, 2)

Allard Clipper, Great Britain, 1954

This car looked simply fantastic. Two kids could ride in the trunk (see image below). It had hree Wheels. And it came complete with the pilot's goggles (just kidding). So you ready to hunt it down? Well, "it is believed that only about twenty such cars were made before the project came to an end, and only two examples are known to survive, one in a German museum and one in England." (more info):


(images via 1)

Want a small pickup truck? Austin A-35 fits the bill:


(image via)

Italian Vespa company made not only the famous scooters, but also cars (1958):


(image via)

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:


(image via)

For a more exhaustive look at all Hungarian micro-car models, click here.



Variations of Goggomobile, Spain:


(images via)

De Carlo 200 Minicar from Argentina looks exactly like a toy plastic car:


(images via)

Dinarg D-200, also from Argentina, has somewhat haughty and slightly stuck-up demeanor. This model is from 1962:


(images via)

NSU Prinz I, II, III and 30 - from Argentina:


(images via)

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:



Marathon Corsair had style, too:



Here is a little grey mouse: German Fuldamobile S2 (more info


(images via)

More Fuldamobiles, including an interesting Attica, produced under license in Greece:


(image via)

German Champion 400, 1953 - more info - also was a convertible:



(images via 1, 2)

Another German fascinating micro car is Tempo (making Matador and Hanseat micro-trucks since 1924). These cars are quite collectible and rare nowadays:



(more info, image via)

1960 Berkely T-60 three-wheeled convertible:



(images via)

Very attractive Crosley convertible from 1947:


(images via)

There was Crosley station wagon, Crosley "Scorpion", 1952:



... and even Crosley Little Chief fire truck (1950):


(images via)

What about today?

Speaking of modern small and micro cars, this example from Lancia, Italy, looks pretty inviting and classy:


(image via)

Nissan Figaro from 1991 had some sophisticated roof retraction mechanism:


(image via)

On the DIY front, here is a bizarre recent one called Moonbeam, which will give you 100mpg - more info


(image via)

Rarities of the micro kind

Scootmobile and Meyra oddities (any info on these?):


(images via)


(Skoda in Prague Airport, image via)

1975 Mini-Comtesse and 1979 Mini-Comtesse Break, France:



Microbe! and Alta 200 from Greece:



Another mini-car? truck? scooter? from Greece: Delta Minitriadi, 1968 (left) and Mitsuoka BUBU Shuttle 50 from Japan (right):


(images via)

Here is a microcar starring in one Soviet movie... and a green bubble car, blown to some frightening proportions:



(originals unknown)

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:




(images via)


("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:


(image via)

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.


(image via)

Join us on the New Digg


CONTINUE TO NEXT PART! ->

Don't Miss the Fist Part of This Series ->

Share



RECENT ARTICLES:


Crazy (and Dangerous) Railroads

Landslide on an Old Harrowing Railroad



"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"

DRB is a top-ranked and respected source for the best in art, travel and fascinating technology, with a highly visual presentation. Our in-depth articles in many categories make DRB a highly visual online magazine, bringing you quality entertainment every time you open your "feed" reader or visit our site - About DRB

Connect with us and become part of DRB on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus; make sure to subscribe to our updates.

Our mobile site: http://mobile.darkroastedblend.com. You can also read us on iPad, as part of the Flipboard popular free app.



YOUR COMMENTS::

25 Comments:

Blogger Marcelo Metayer said...

Hey! I'm from Argentina and I never saw these mini cars. They are beautiful.

By the way, of the contemporary "autitos", the one I like most is this: http://bit.ly/c63Wlh

I took this photo on 2008, in La Plata, the city where I live.

Greetings!

___  
Blogger Marcelo Metayer said...

Sorry, I put a wrong URI.
This is the right one: http://bit.ly/ctn79S

___  
Anonymous Charlie Brown said...

I see several cars that doesn't fit in the micro category at all. Mini is mini, but not a micro, and with its more than 3,5 m (11,5ft) length, NSU Prinz is small at best, to name a few.

Tempo is so rare that Indian roads are full of it, it was manufactured under license by Bajaj until 2000:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/99366248@N00/2186973410/lightbox/

___  
Blogger Italian Job said...

Microbo 124 is actually italian, noy greek, there's even MILANO written on top left...

___  
Blogger Italian Job said...

found this http://www.wheelsofitaly.com/wiki/index.php/Issi

Autoscooter Microbo 125
was produced by ISSI italy (Istituto Scientifico Sperimentale Industriale)and it was a prototype.

___  
Anonymous Nils Holdrinet said...

Very nice article, although I have to correct you on one thing, the NSU Prinz (and all NSU's for that matter) is from Germany. The company was founded in 1873 and produced knitting machines, bicycles and eventually cars. Some were quite advanced, the Wankel Spider you showed in the article was the first car to have a Wankel engine. In 1969 it was aquired by the Volkswagen Group to merge it with Auto Union and both companies (NSU and Auto Union) became Audi.

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could you list tiny cars without including this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJfSS0ZXYdo

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this nice article. But the Škoda Spartak (on the picture with airplane) is a normal-size car. Typical micro car from Czechoslovakia is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velorex

___  
Blogger Avi Abrams said...

We linked to it in the other part of this series. There are two more parts. Cheers!

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of the two cars described as "Goggomobile" is actually Mikrus, manufactured in Poland between 1957 and 1960. For more info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikrus_MR-300

___  
Anonymous Whitehouse said...

The green bubble car (http://lh3.ggpht.com/_hVOW2U7K4-M/TEjzoPxe7vI/AAAAAAABUb0/fU_MItQo4hY/s720/erhygtrdegtrrgt.jpg ) looks like some novelty product. If you look close you see that it resembles a Volkswagen Transporter T2 bay window van.

Compare with this.
http://www.moto24.tv/jamnik/img/galeria/3198/vw_transporter_t2_1.jpg

Look at the details as the lights, wheelhubs and air intake under the window.

___  
Anonymous TopDogTom said...

I have been a nut for big V8 iron for years but these are great cars. The simplicity yet complex designs are intriguing.

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were lots of small cars in Argentina in the ´60s. Even there was an amphibious one, the so called "autoneta" Ipam Leeds, made at the city of La Plata, and an electric prototype named Isabelita. Others were imported or licensed, like the NSU made by Autoar, or the Fuldamobil, known as Bambi, amongst many others (Joseso, Isetta, Heinkel, Messerschmitt).
De Carlo´s larger models were based on the BMW.

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The German Goggomobile (Hans Glas)were made under license in Argentina, and known as the Isard.

___  
Anonymous Tom said...

These are so cool! They even make the Smartcar look big, which I tend to cruise around in given half the chance!

___  
Anonymous Dee said...

All these cars are awesome.. and cute. Lol.

___  
Anonymous soundchaser said...

For those interested, the microcar from the Soviet film is the "Invalidka", a russian car for the disabled.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invalidka

And the film is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Y_and_Other_Shurik%27s_Adventures

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Czechoslovakian Velorex was also designed for the disabled, although it barely fits even in the microcar category with its wooden frame covered with oilcloth.

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The green car which another poster mentioned is a custom built car for an advert. The car was made to look like a "BirdsEye Garden Pea."
You can see the video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jxg1pYIT64M
The explanation being that the "Pea" car is driving around the country but keeps falling apart and it reaches its destination as a mere body shell. A new frozen pea car is revealed from a Birds Eye refrigerated vehicle. The explanation is that fresh vegetables loose vitamins from the moment their picked, Birds Eye vegetables don’t because they are frozen to lock in their goodness.

More info on it here:
http://www.tomgarner.co.uk/2005/10/update-more-on-birdseye-pea-car.html

___  
Anonymous choto said...

there are some cars on display at Abudhabi car museum you can check the site www.enam.ae

___  
Anonymous Anthony Giuffrida said...

I found some interesting cars on this site: www.microcarbroker.com

Regards

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

seriously, almost all of these cars are the best cars ever. we should have more of them on the roads. i don't know how someone couldn't like them.

___  
Anonymous Ken David said...

You seem to have forgotten the Honda micro cars, the N360 and N600.
With 2-cyl motorcycle engines the 600 wasn't too bad but the 360 was SLOW.
Although the S-600 and S-800 sports cars aren't micro, they are tiny and have remarkable engines worthy of note.

___  
Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Thank you Ken, great info, will include in next part.

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Reliant Robin??

___  

Post a Comment

<< Home


SF ART & BOOK REVIEWS:
Don't miss: The Ultimate Guide to NEW SF&F Writers!
Fiction Reviews: Classic Cyberpunk: Extreme Fiction
Short Fiction Reviews: Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" (with pics)
New Fiction Reviews: The Surreal Office



READ OTHER RECENT ARTICLES:



Enchanting Waterfall Island

Like the Nagrand region in World of Warcraft

DRB Feel-Good
DRB Feel-Good Issue #16

Loads of cool and rare imagery


Auto Oops! Bizarre Car Accidents, Part 7

New batch of maddeningly mysterious wrecks


Mind-Blowing Optical Illusions, Part 6

"The soul has illusions as the bird has wings: it is supported by them"


Exceptional British 1950s Scifi Artwork

Quintessential Space Pulp Art by Ron Turner and others


Extreme Parenting & Wild, Wild Kids! Part 2

The Joys and Perils of Having Interesting Kids


Creation and Destruction of Sand Mandalas

Profound Art Ritual Reflecting the Sanctity of Our Lives


Funny Sports Update

Underwater Ice Hockey, Extreme Stunts, etc.(Pics)


The New Motor, or the Steam-Powered Messiah

The strange, true tale (plus some wicked cyberpunk art)


Machines Alive! The Whimsical Art of Boris Artzybasheff

Is it a dream, or a nightmare?


Automated Musical Instruments

Music Robots: No Performer Necessary


American Supersonic Airliners:
Race for a Dream


Supersonic Marvels, Largely Forgotten Today


Pulp Pleasures: Eando Binder

"Where Eternity Ends" and other rare gems


Epic Fantasy: the Start of the Journey

Part 2 of our "Best Classic Fantasy" series


Strange Shadows: Best Classic Fantasy

Fantasy "Glitches in the Matrix", Epic Lands, and more!


FULL ARCHIVES (with previews, fast loading):

Feb-March 2014 -- January 2014 -- Oct-Dec 2013 --
September 2013 -- August 2013 -- July 2013 -- May-June 2013 -- April 2013 --
March 2013 -- February 2013 -- Dec-Jan 2013 --
November 2012 -- October 2012 -- September 2012 --
August 2012 -- July 2012 -- June 2012 -- May 2012 -- April 2012 --
March 2012 -- February 2012 -- Dec-Jan 2012 --
November 2011 -- October 2011 -- September 2011 --
August 2011 -- July 2011 -- June 2011 --
May 2011 -- April 2011 -- March 2011 --
February 2011 -- January 2011 -- December 2010 --
November 2010 -- October 2010 -- September 2010 --
August 2010 - July 2010 -- June 2010 --
May 2010 -- April 2010 -- March 2010 --
Winter 2009-2010 -- Oct-Nov 2009 -- September 2009 --
August 2009 -- June-July 2009 -- May 2009 --
April 2009 -- March 2009 -- February 2009 --
January 2009 -- December 2008 -- November 2008 --
October 2008 -- September 2008 -- August 2008 --
July 2008 -- June 2008 -- May 2008 --
April 2008 -- March 2008 -- February 2008 --
January 2008 -- Dec, 2007 -- November 2007 --
October 2007 -- September 2007 -- August 2007 --
July 2007 -- June 2007 -- May 2007 --
April 2007 -- March 2007 -- February 2007 --
January 2007 -- December 2006 -- November 2006 --
October 2006 -- Link Latte Issues -- Biscotti Issues



CATEGORIES:
airplanes | animals | architecture | art | auto | boats | books | cool ads | funny pics | famous | futurism | food
gadgets | health | history | humour | japan | internet | link latte | military | music | nature | photo | russia | steampunk
sci-fi & fantasy | signs | space | sports | technology | trains | travel | vintage | weird




















Airplanes
Animals
Architecture
Art
Auto
Boats
Computers
Cool Ads
Extreme Weather
Food
Funny Pics
Futurism
Gadgets
History
Humour
Link Latte
Military
Music
Nature
Oops Accidents
Photography
Robots
Science
Science Fiction

Space
Sports
Technology
Trains
Travel
UE Abandoned
Vintage
Weird











Avi Abrams
Rachel Abrams
M. Christian
Simon Rose
Paul Schilperoord
Scott Seegert
Constantine vonHoffman


Send us your topic ideas, site suggestions, rants or sweet unpublished poetry. We love to hear from you.

Samsung Galaxy Case friendly.