In 1958, a small company in Haifa, Israel called Autocars, Co. introduced the Susita, a small, boxy microcar with a Reliant-sourced motor. To keep manufacturing costs low in a developing nation only ten years old, Autocars decided that the body should be made of fiberglass.
Fiberglass has many advantages as a building material for small cars. It doesn’t require expensive sheetmetal presses and dies, it is very light, and it can be repaired easily on the fly with a little epoxy and elbow grease.
Unfortunately, Israeli drivers have come to believe something else about the fiberglass bodies used by Autocars and its successors until the last Israeli-designed Rom Carmel rolled off the assembly line in 1978.
Apparently, the camels that are a common sight along roads in the Negev desert can’t resist the taste. Rumors of camels snacking on fenders and running-boards were rampant among the government employees and soldiers obliged to drive domestic.
Now that the Sussita and its successors, the Gilboa and Carmel, have all but disappeared, Israelis will usually admit that the odd collision and hopped curb were to blame for cracks and holes in bodywork, but the urban legend remains that the fiberglass cars made a handsome meal for your local Dromedary.
Do you know any other cars with their own urban legends? Let us know about them in the comments!