Subaru 360 - The Oppositelock Review

The most infamous review in the history of Consumer Reports car reviews came in 1969 when they covered the new to America Subaru 360. Their summation: Not Acceptable. » 1/27/15 2:16pm 1/27/15 2:16pm

Let's Look At Some Ads For "The Worst Car Ever Made"

Let me be up front here: I don't think the Lightburn Zeta is the worst car ever made. But many people do. It's not a good car, by any standard, but it was designed to be a super-cheap, incredibly basic form of transport, and considering the context, its flaws at least make sense. That said, it is sort of delightfully… » 12/30/14 9:30pm 12/30/14 9:30pm

The Messerschmitt: A Cockpit Without A Plane

In the months after Germany's surrender in 1945, Fritz Fend was working as an itinerant farmer for 8.50 marks a week. During the war, Fritz had been an engineer who helped design the very first jet fighters for the Luftwaffe. He was clever and creative and seemed destined for big things save for the fact he worked for… » 12/23/14 7:28pm 12/23/14 7:28pm

Tiny Cars With Lots Of A-Peel: The P50 and Trident Story

We're all familiar with the wonderful Peel P50, the smallest production car ever made. But, what's the deal with Peel? Turns out, it's an interesting story. The teeny microcar wasn't the first automobile with a Peel badge, nor would it be the last. And, despite being one of the slowest motor vehicles ever, Peel's name… » 11/07/14 7:05pm 11/07/14 7:05pm

Today's Microcar O' The Day Is Frisky

The golden age of the microcar, the years following WWII, provide me with endless fascination. Little cars were made in all corners of the world, and they all seem connected in some way. The auto industry today is like a web that covers the globe and the seeds of this globalization can be found in the microcar.… » 10/23/14 11:04pm 10/23/14 11:04pm

People Powered - Velocars, Microcars, the Wars & the Mochets

The other day I wrote about Buckle Motors where Bill Buckle Jr. took the import car business his father started to a new level. Today's father and son team are Charles and Georges Mochet, a pair of innovators who helped put France on wheels in the first half of the 20th century. » 9/12/14 7:02pm 9/12/14 7:02pm

Fiberglass Down Under - The Buckle Story

Last week, I told you all about the Allard Clipper, Britain's (and possibly Europe's) first fiberglass car. Shortly after the Clipper disaster, fiberglass became accepted and an enterprising Australian who had never built a car before brought the technology down under. » 9/10/14 5:00pm 9/10/14 5:00pm

Allard's Folly - The Wonderfully Horrible Clipper

Today's microcar made by a performance marque (See: Bugatti Type 68, AC Petite) is the infamous Allard Clipper, a car that often turns up on worst, or ugliest car lists. Allard was a British marque famous for lovely lightweight bodies mated with American power. Their J2 was a legendary car which finished 3rd at Le… » 9/07/14 4:19pm 9/07/14 4:19pm

The Littlest (And Slowest) Bugatti

Today when we think of Bugatti, we probably think of a 1,000+ horsepower monster. The most expensive and maybe fastest car in the world. An engineering wonder. Or, maybe the classic Atlantique, or Bugatti race cars that today fetch the highest prices at the fanciest auctions. » 9/03/14 5:20pm 9/03/14 5:20pm

Roller-Skating Ninjas Are No Match For This Microcar

I'm researching a story on some odd little microcars (shock), and I came across this video that I felt should probably get its own post, because, come on, there's really valuable information on escaping roller-skating Ninjas here. Better grab a notebook. » 6/20/13 12:43pm 6/20/13 12:43pm

The French Redefined What Small And Large Meant In 1958

The French Berliet T100 was the largest truck in the world in 1957. The Vespa 400, on the other hand, was an Italian bubble car also produced in France. Putting them together still looks like a fun afternoon. » 6/07/13 1:47pm 6/07/13 1:47pm

Look At These Lovely And A Bit Sad Pictures Of The Universe's Largest…

It was a great day for wealthy microcar afficionados who have longed for a Biscuter to liven up their walk-in humidor, but a sad day for those of us who would just love to see a crapload of microcars all in one place. That's because the greatest microcar musuem, the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum is closing its doors… » 2/18/13 8:29pm 2/18/13 8:29pm

The World's Smallest Cars Are Back On Sale, For Insane Money

Like an adorable, tiny zombie popping out of its tiny, adorable window-box grave, the Peel P50 and Peel Trident are back from the dead. Neither of the tiny, tiny cars has been built since 1966, but a new company, with funding from the BBC's show Dragon's Den, is starting production up once again, as announced earlier… » 5/17/12 4:00pm 5/17/12 4:00pm

Goggomobil T300 Is A Rare And Tiny Find

Goggomobils were among the most popular of the variety of odd little vehicles built during the German microcar craze of the 50s and early 60s. While we would like to attribute this popularity to the fact they were sold with one of the coolest names ever given to an automobile, something tells us it took more than that… » 4/14/12 12:30pm 4/14/12 12:30pm

Don't Miss The Chance To Fill Your Yard With BMW Isettas

Although nicely restored examples of BMW's contribution to the microcar era can command serious prices the cost of filling at least part of your yard with this assortment of Isetta shells and parts currently listed on Ebay is surprisingly affordable—at least initially. » 3/03/12 12:30pm 3/03/12 12:30pm

How many people fit in an Indian-market microcar?

Fourteen people just got out of that car. It's an Indian-built Maruti-Suzuki 800 and it's just under 11 feet long at 131.5 inches. That's just under a foot longer than an original Mini. » 12/27/11 3:30pm 12/27/11 3:30pm

Hungary’s weirdly awesome microcars, now in book form

In June 2010, we published a feature by the Hungarian auto historian Pál Négyesi on Hungary’s ruefully creative postwar microcars. The post has had quite the afterlife! In December, the story of the Balaton and the Alba Regia was published in the print edition of The Economist, and an expanded version of the microcar… » 9/29/11 4:30pm 9/29/11 4:30pm

Your opportunity for weird three wheeled fun with the Messerschmitt…

Although Messerschmitt remains best known for their World War II fighter aircraft, facing a ban on airplane production after the war the company expanded into other sectors. The three wheeled Messerschmitt KR175 seen here is the strange result of the company's entrance to the auto industry. Currently for sale on Ebay,… » 7/16/11 11:00am 7/16/11 11:00am

All Hail The Frankenschmitt!

It's one thing to customize your mass-produced ride for which there are thousands of parts available. It's quite another to breathe life into someone else's insanity, like mating two rare post-war German microcars. Here's the story of the Frankenschmitt. » 12/16/10 4:30pm 12/16/10 4:30pm