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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The cutest microcars of the 20th centuries

The tiny-little cars aka microcars had booming moments and experienced a surge in demand shortly after World War II ended. At that time, many beautiful to weird-shaped microcars were popping up on the streets.
1953 Gaitán Auto-Tri, an egg-shaped microcar by a Seville-based manufacturer named Construcciones Gaitán, SL looks different from the company's other prototypes due to applying the reversed wheels-layout and has no front-grill. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3kAYZgn)
Despite being a reliable and affordable means of transportation, it also creates a unique view because of its unusual and strange shape. Here are some microcars that appeared in that era and have unique and strange looks.

1. Davis D-2 Divan
This odd three-wheeled and two-door sedan was the brainchild of used-car salesman Glen Gordon "Gary" Davis largely based upon "The Californian", a custom three-wheeled roadster built by future Indianapolis 500 racing car designer Frank Kurtis for Southern Californian millionaire and racer Joel Thorne.
1948 Davis D2 Divan, an odd three-wheeled and two-door sedan was the brainchild of used-car salesman Glen Gordon "Gary" Davis. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3gQuroq)
The microcars were built between 1947 and 1949 by Davis Motorcar Company. This unique microcar uses a 47 hp four-cylinder engine but later changed to a 63 hp four. The manufacture of this microcar began in 1947 with 2 prototypes. Only 13 Divans (including the two prototypes) were ever built, of which 12 have survived. The car featured aircraft-inspired styling details as well as disc brakes, hidden headlights, and built-in jacks.

2. Mochet Type K
This microcar was built by Automobiles Mochet, a French Puteaux-based manufacturer starting in 1947 and sold until 1949. This Type-K car is said to be the company's first car to have metal bodywork (although the doors are wooden) but retained mechanical features of the previous version (Type -H).
1948 Mochet Type K was built by Automobiles Mochet, a French's Puteaux-based manufacturer starting in 1947 and sold until 1949(Picture from: https://bit.ly/3ivQvoY)
This microcar uses a Zurcher 125cc 2-stroke engine coupled to a separate 3-speed gearbox. And it is estimated that at that time these odd-shaped microcars were made of 650 units.

3. Champion CH-2
There're 11 units of these cutie microcars that were ever made in 1949 by Hermann Holbein Fahrzeugbau in Ulm, Germany. Perhaps 2 of these original CH-2 models survive today. These micro-cars are largely using motorcycle parts, such as tires and Triumphs 5 hp engines. The CH-2 was designed by Hermann Holbein, a former development engineer of BMW before WWII and an Albert Maier, an engineer of the gear-maker ZF Company in 1949.
1949 Champion CH-2 was built largely using motorcycle parts, such as tires and Triumphs 5 hp engines. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3aj85JZ)
Unfortunately, Holbein was an engineer and not a businessman and soon became overwhelmed with all the details and keep suppliers and partners happy. When the first cars developed transmission problems, he recalled them all for repair.

4. Rolux VB60 Baby
This unique microcar was built from 1949 to 1951 by Societé Rolux, a French's Clermont-Ferrand based manufacturer. At that time the manufacturer made as many as 400 units of this cutie car.
1950 Rolux VB60 Baby uses a 125 cubic-centimeter Ydral engine which drove the left rear wheel via a cardan shaft. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/30OwiVx)
The microcar uses a 125 cubic-centimeter Ydral engine which drove the left rear wheel via a cardan shaft. The small car measured 105 inches in length and was held in place by a leaf spring suspension. The body consisted of a steel-framed folding windshield, roadster body, and pointed rear fenders. 

5. Biscúter
1950 Biscúter was designed by Gabriel Voisin and one of the most popular cutie cars in Spain during the 1950s. The name Biscúter (Biscooter) implied that it was about the size of two scooters or also could be said as a scooter with four wheels. Uniquely, the microcar has no doors or windows or even reverse gear, uses a 1 cylinder, 197 cc, two-stroke motor produced 9 horsepower (7 kW), had a crank starter, and drove only the right front wheel.
1950 Biscúter was designed by Gabriel Voisin and one of the most popular cutie cars in Spain during the 1950s. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2PMK4kW)
The microcar manufactured in Barcelona, Spain by Auto Nacional, SA. and the first car never had a formal model name and was called simply the Series 100, but it soon became known as the Zapatilla, or little shoe (clog), after a low-heeled peasant slipper popular at the time. 

6. Allard Clipper
This is an English 3-wheeler produced by Allard Motor Company from 1952 to 1954. Microcars are also known as lightweight sports cars, due to the bodywork made of fiberglass and used the rear-mounted Villiers 24B 346 cc (21.1 cu in) single-cylinder two-stroke motorcycle engine drives the rear left wheel via a Burman gearbox and chain.
1952 Allard Clipper was an English 3-wheeler which uses a rear-mounted Villiers 24B 346 cc (21.1 cu in) single-cylinder two-stroke motorcycle engine drives the rear left wheel via a Burman gearbox and chain(Picture from: https://bit.ly/2PMK4kW)
The car was designed by David Gottlieb and advertised as having an "indestructible" plastic body, made by Hordern-Richmond Ltd; the Clipper was the first car to have a color-impregnated fiberglass body. It seats three adults on a bench seat and two children in optional dickey seats revealed when the rear boot is opened. 

7. Gaitán Auto-Tri
Actually not much information related to this microcar. What is known is that this car was produced by a Seville-based motorized-vehicle manufacturer company named Construcciones Gaitán SL. This Spaniard-made microcar has an egg-like shape made of aluminum with a three-wheel layout (two wheels at the front and one behind). This microcar is made in various models and one even functions as an ambulance.
This three-wheeled car was first shown to the public in November 1953 in Seville. But unfortunately, as quoted from autopasion18, this microcar was never commercialized but had a chance to grab its heydays as can you see in a Spanish documentary film of the 1953 above. From this source, it is also stated that this microcar had made a trip to Barcelona in 1955, and that was somekind an introduction attempt of the microcar to the people there. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | IO9 GIZMODO | DIVAN | MOCHET | CHAMPION | ROLUX | BISCOOTER | CLIPPER | GAITAN]
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