Designed originally for production by a REFRIGERATOR and motor scooter manufacturer. The door was in front, and the engine was a motor scooter engine. The animation in the advert portion of the video is as kitschy as the car itself.
I would’ve killed for one of these back then and still would as it’s just about the cutest car ever made. A monster masterpiece of modern transportation design and decades ahead of its time, this is still the best looking thing on the road as well as the ultimate expression of high and lo culture jammed together, a juxtaposition I’m completely obsessed with.
I’ve been fascinated with these since a family friend left one with a blown engine in our garage in the 60’s, and I learned to drive in it. One friend pushed, and I drove, then we’d trade off: that’s how light these things are. For a little more on these, and some for sale, take a look at http://www.microcarmuseum.com. They have many pix of different years, colors, extended bodies, and one that has been modified to become a dragster (I’m sure it would be a people pleaser in the Target parking lot!)
Oh WOW. I really love these…I saw one in London once, and fell madly in love….and seriously, as much as i love old cars with their huge lead loving billion cylinder engines; if we all just drove 1 cylinder 4 strokes, the roads would be safer and there really would be so much less pollution….
There are quite a few of them still on the road – along with a lot of other “micro-cars” from the 1950s and 60s. There is a loose association of Arcane Auto Collectors (mostly in Northern California) that gathers several times each year to play with their “toy cars” – and there are Micro-car gatherings all over the world.
Have you ever gone to one?
A few – none of the really big events that get hundreds of micro cars.
Some specialize by maker, others are open to all sorts of tiny cars.
There are gatherings of Trablants in the former East Germany that are often considered to be the height ( or depth?) of “kar-kitsch”
http://www.automotto.org/entry/the-car-that-brought-down-the-infamously-famous-wall/ is an article about just one that happened this year.
http://www.microcar.org/ covers a lot of the events around the world.
As funny as all these cars might look – they were what could be quickly built soon after WW2 with materials and factories at hand, for a price that people could afford. They were very fuel efficient and gave a bit more weather protection, drivability and capacity than scooters or motorcycles (or bicycles.)
They mostly weren’t quite right for US driving conditions, but the VW Beetle and the first Minis were only slightly larger than the micros – they eventually did OK here. Now, cars like the Smart are trying the same thing all over again!
A little larger, but along the same line of smaller cars during this era not to be dismissed are the Renault Dauphine and the Nash Metropolitan (Lois Lane’s car in Superman TV series.)
Also one of my favorites, in the late ’40’s-early ’50’s, the Crosley, built in Indiana by Powell Crosley who also manufactured radios and televisions.
And of course, we know that the beetle lead domestic auto makers to get in the act with in 1960 with the Ford Falcon, and the Chevy Corvair, and that leads me back to Allee, who I understand owned a corvair at one time?
Don’t talk to me about my Corvair as it makes me ill to think that I sold it just a few years ago for 500 bucks because I got sick of it taking up space in my driveway… I bought it off the side of the road for $400 in 1988 or 9 to use on the set I was building for Shelley Duvall’s “Mother Goose Rock ‘n Rhyme” on HBO. You can see the front end of it in photos of my sets at https://www.alleewillis.com/art/sets-props/index.htm ( go to “Mother Goose Rock ‘n Rhyme” and click the arrow to the second photo). I painted it pink and reupholstered the inside myself with fake fur. I drove it for years after that but it was like driving a smoking chimney. I kept it parked in my drive for 15 years waiting to collect the coins so I could fully cherry it out but that day never came so when someone working here said they’d haul it out of the drive that day I took the 500 bucks and got excited that I’d have room for patio tables and chairs there instead. I’m only consoled by the fact that they immediately started restoring it. I haven’t spoken to them since and I’m sure they put it back to its original white color but I’d know the engine sound anywhere and whip my head around any time I think it might be approaching.