Small Cars, Big Joy: 19 Adorable Vintage Microcars With One Fun Fact For Each
At the beginning of the 1950s, the situation throughout Europe was difficult; the scarcity of resources was the norm. Cars were luxury objects available only to a few, while bicycles and motorcycles became the most common modes of transportation.
In response, microcars, also known as bubble cars or city cars, were produced as a solution for affordable and efficient urban travel.
From the iconic BMW Isetta and the quirky Bond Bug to the ugly Reliant Robin and the avant-garde Fuji Cabin, this essay provides overview of 19 microcars, including their parent companies, histories, design features and technical specifications.
Be sure not to miss the fun facts for each microcar – they are truly unique and entertaining!
1. Messerschmitt KR200 – History’s Most Macho Three Wheeler
Country of Origin: Germany
Designer: Fritz Fend
Production Years: 1955-1964
Units Produced: 40,000
Length: 110.6 inches (2.81 meters)
Top speed: 56 mph (90 km/h)
Power output: 10 hp (7.5 kW)
The Messerschmitt KR200, known as the Kabinenroller (Cabin Scooter), was a two front and single rear wheeled, two-seater bubble car developed by aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt.
Fritz Fend, an aeronautical engineer who had worked on aircraft design during World War II, designed Messerschmitt microcars.
The KR200 did well in a country suffering from the effects of the post-war. It is a symbol of 1950s and 1960s popular culture.
In addition to the standard model, Messerschmitt also produced a number of special editions and variations of the KR200, including a convertible model and a model with a larger engine.
Fun Fact: The Messerschmitt KR200 microcar had aviation roots, as the company specialized in producing warplanes during World War II. The KR200’s design resembled a fighter plane cockpit on wheels, with a canopy-like roof hinged at the side and swung upward, similar to a cockpit canopy.
The car’s steering wheel also featured a yoke-style control inspired by aerospace engineering and design.