The Econom Teddy Was Just As Silly As Its Name

Amongst the myriad postwar microcars that were too cool to make it to production is this wee winsome fellow, the Econom Teddy. It was designed by the impressively named Hellmuth Butenuth and is the only car I know of named after a stuffed animal. It was meant to be the cheapest car in the world. So cheap, the company… »10/13/15 2:54pm10/13/15 2:54pm


The Felber Autoroller - A Frog That Climbed A Mountain

One of the most whimsical, in a wide field of whimsy, microcars of the post war years was the Felber Autoroller, a frog-like three wheeler from Austria. Austria isn’t really known for its cars, but with names like Ledwinka, and Porsche, and marques like Steyr-Puch and Gräf & Stift, it’s made some important… »9/03/15 4:09pm9/03/15 4:09pm

One Of The Most Fun-Looking New Cars Costs $5K And Is Called 'The Runt'

Often, very cheap, basic little city cars have problems with status. They’re perceived as little rolling penalty boxes, an added insult to the need for frugality. That’s why Tata’s well-designed Nano sold slower than it was expected to — few people want to be seen in what’s known as a “cheap” car. But there does seem… »7/22/15 1:30pm7/22/15 1:30pm

Greece Should Build More Weird Cars Again To Get Out Of Debt 

We all know Greece is in a tricky financial spot right now. Pretty much all of Europe is breathing down their neck for cash, no one has any, and it’s a big Greek mess. But, as always, ol’ Torchy has a plan. See, Greece used to build some pretty quirky cars. Quirky cars are becoming rare today. See? Quirky… »7/16/15 4:45pm7/16/15 4:45pm

Microcar Monday: Pinguin - The Miniature Porsche That Couldn't

During the Golden Age of the Microcar after WWII, there were literally hundreds and hundreds of microcar companies all trying to eke out their own sliver of the automobile market. For every one that did manage to pump out a few copies, there were several that barely got off the drawing board. Microcar history is… »7/13/15 1:19pm7/13/15 1:19pm

Let's All Enjoy This Bonkers Car You've Never Heard Of

I think I’ve expressed before how much I love finding cars I’ve never heard of before. Chasing that joy, however, is a bit like being a junkie — getting the feeling at first is easy, but it gets harder and harder as time goes on. This car, today, is some hardcore car-junkie goods — wildly strange, obscure, and oddly… »6/25/15 6:00pm6/25/15 6:00pm

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 9:30pm12/30/14 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 7:28pm12/23/14 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 7:05pm11/07/14 7:05pm

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 4:19pm9/07/14 4:19pm