Say it’s the mid-1970s and you drive the heavy traffic streets of Roma, Italia every day. The streets are filled with gigantic Fiat X1/9s, Alfasuds, and old Autobianchi Bianchinas. These four-wheeled pleasure barges are clogging your good city streets with excessive size and engine displacement. You need something smaller and more nimble to negotiate through the mean streets. Carrozzeria G.A.M.C. Baldi has just what you need.
Picture a tiny two-seat automobile with a fiberglass body, a canvas roof and a diminutive engine. You might be thinking about a little post-war British sports car. I’ve wedged myself into a Berkely Sports before, so that’s the first thing that comes to my mind. You probably, under normal circumstances, don’t immediately think of the Baldi Frog, but that’s exactly what you need.
Powered by a series of Fiat 500-sourced engines, this particular example has a 500cc motor, the Frog is the smallest possible car that Baldi could conceivably produce in 1975. With a fiberglass body and minimal creature comforts [you only get one gauge, a speedometer] the Frog weighs a scant 1000 pounds. The Frog is just 85 inches in total length, making it some 20 inches shorter than the Fiat 500 upon which it is based. In 2019 lingo, it’s a smol boy.
The Frog was shown at the 1973 Paris Auto Salon to mixed reviews, but considering the fuel crunch already being felt across Europe, some parties were interested. The San Remo-based Baldi produced a number of designs over the years, but the Frog was by far its largest sales success. Across two years of production, Baldi made 300 Frogs, mostly for the Italian market.
According to some folks who actually own one, the 595cc “Rallye” version was powerful enough to pick the front wheels up under hard acceleration. Take that Dodge Demon!
Maybe if everyone in the world was driving tiny little babies like this, we wouldn’t have traffic of any measure. Hell, garages could be smaller, houses would be cheaper, and you’d spend less on fuel. You probably wouldn’t text and drive, for immediate fear of your fiberglass car becoming your coffin. I’m all for it.
And if you want to fix your city’s heavy traffic, buy yourself a Frog to zip around in. You can find this one on eBay right now by following this link.
Hmmm. Maybe just ride a scooter.