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Friday, December 11, 2020

The 5 forgotten cutie microcars

The development and presence of cheap and fuel-efficient microcars helped in the impoverished Europe of the postwar period and attracted those who could not afford to buy "real" cars. Over time, their popularity spiked after the Suez Crisis of 1956, when the price of oil rose steeply. It looks like the idea of the cheap and fuel-efficient microcar seems to have come to the peak of its line, just as motorcycles in the 1950s.
Several microcars that attended at the Gould's 16th Annual Microcar & Minicar Classic Event of 2011. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/39ECq7l)
At that time there were so many brands and models appearing, let's say that in Germany there was the Messerschmitt KR 175, BMW Isetta, Heinkel Cabin and Zündapp Janus. Meanwhile, the Italian giant Piaggio launched the Vespa 400. Then in England there is the Scootacar, Peel P50, Bond Bug, and many others.
1940 Mathis 333 microcar uses an in-line two-cylinder 707 cc water-cooled engine. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2JHLUUI)
Here are 5 classic microcars that may have escaped the public's view and very few know of their existence, but have also colored the microcars heyday in the postwar era.

1. Mathis 333
In 1940 when Paris is under German's occupation. In the factory of Ste Mathis is located in the Parisian suburbs at Gennevilliers, the company made it under great secrecy work progresses on a car for the time after the war. The code name is VEL 333, which stands for Light Economic Car - 3 wheels, 3 places and 3 liters per 100 km. It is the aerodynamic engineer Jean Andreau who gave it his futuristic line.
1940 Mathis 333 microcar sat on display at the Rétromobile 2005 in Paris, France. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2JHLUUI)
This revolutionary car - which body was built out of aluminium and weighted more than 380 kg - was propelled by a flat two-cylinder motor of 707 cc cooled by water. The Mathis 333 made debuted at the 1946 Paris Automobile Show. Unfortunately, only ten examples of this astonishing three-wheeler were built.

2. Inter Autoscooter
The microcar follows touted an autoscooter with a lift-back hatch that resembles an airplane. Some say it was produced to compete with the Messerschmitt KR175 which also appeared that year. This is not surprising as both cars are made by the aircraft company and have a similar tandem seating layout in the cockpit.
1953 Inter Autoscooter 175 Berline microcar built by the French aircraft manufacturer S.N.C.A.N. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3oobDQQ)
This microcar was produced from 1954 to 1958 by the French aircraft manufacturer S.N.C.A.N. There were 2 model ever produced, one with a cockpit cover that hinged open from the side and named the Berline, the other an open bodied version called the Torpedo. Both models were powered by a small Ydral 175 cc two-stroke engine driving the single rear wheel and the company built over 300 units microcar.

3. Fuji Cabin
Like Messerschmitt, Hitachi was originally a manufacturer of military aircraft that converted to the manufacture of motorcycles after World War II when it was banned from building planes. Working with Fuji, it produced the Fuji Cabin, a scooter with a polyester cabin.
1955 Fuji Cabin microcar built by Hitachi, the Japanese military aircraft manufacturer that converted to the motorcycle manufacturer after World War II. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3oobDQQ)
The microcar is designed by Ryuichi Tomiya, the greatest of the early Japanese car designers, who had worked for Nissan in the 1930s. The Fuji Cabin wasn’t so popular and very few items were actually built (years of production: 1955–1958).

4. Spatz Victoria
Stuttgart engineer Egon Brütsch, a longtime developer of microcars, failed in his one attempt to mass produce one of his designs. Industrialist Harald Friedrich, who had bought the rights to manufacture the Brütsch 200, a pretty three-wheeled plastic microcar, arranged with Hans Ledwinka, the great engineer-designer, to bring the project up to speed.
1956 Spatz Victoria microcar designed by Hans Ledwinka after the right of manufacture of the Egon Brütsch's three-wheeled vehicle called Brütsch 200 shifted to Harald Friedrich. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3oobDQQ)
As it turned out, Ledwinka remodelled everything, and Friedrich then refused to pay Brütsch, claiming that the car was now distinctly different from the Brütsch design. They went to court over the matter, and the court sided with Friedrich. The car, very similar to the Messerschmitt, was produced during the years 1956–1958, a chic sporty convertible.

5. Frisky Family 3
This small British car conceived by Raymond Flower was produced by Henry Meadows Ltd., later Frisky Cars Ltd. The company offered several variants of the microcars. The very beautiful body was the work of the Turin-based Vignale studio. The Frisky Family 3, rolled out in 1959, was a three-wheeled model, unlike the other Friskies, and thus cheaper.
1959 Frisky Family 3, a tiny British car is designed by Raymond Flower and was produced by Henry Meadows Ltd. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3oobDQQ)
In line with the world's economic conditions improved, then the microcar trend sloped down. People can afford to buy 'real' cars again. What need is there for what is essentially a motorcycle with automobile seating and a roof? Maybe that's what people thought about. In fact both motorbikes and microcars have survived and still have specified segments in the global market.

However, if the oil prices fluctuate again and adding with environmental issues had bigger influence in the global forum, so it is believed that the trend of the microcars will be emerge again, included some of which are powered by electric motors for the answer. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | ENSO.READYMAG.COM | CLASSICS ]
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