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• Covers a wide range of microcars in automotive history, historical and modern
• Over seventy original colour photographs are included, as well as some period images
• Compact size suits the subject
• Useful information on lesser known makes and models
• The history and development of each model clearly described
• Jargon-free, easy to understand text
• Informative section on current microcars
• Microcars are described as global products, appealing to a worldwide audience
• The raison d’être of microcars is clearly explained in the opening chapter
• Interesting comparisons between makes and models
Often quirky and bizarre, a plethora of small economy cars have emerged since the middle of the twentieth century to meet the needs of the cash-strapped motorist. This book charts the history and development of these microcars, from the lean period after the Second World War, right up to the present day.
Covering a wide range of vehicles, many well-known models and the more obscure are featured within these pages. Colour photographs and period images complement the text.
After the Second World War Europe was in economic crisis and manufacturing lay in ruins. Materials were in short supply, and factories were forbidden from building aircraft. There was a need for cheap, economical transport, but acquiring a new car was difficult, and secondhand cars were not as readily available as they are today.
By the 1950s, a myriad of economy cars had appeared on the market to fill this vacuum. Former aircraft companies – and even a refrigerator manufacturer – turned their hand to producing tiny cars that were often quirky and eccentric. Many of these little cars earned the nickname ‘bubblecars’ due to their bulbous shape.
The 1960s brought with it new levels of affluence, and these microcars almost faded from view. But today, they are enjoying a resurgence of popularity, with many becoming highly-prized collectors items. Increased traffic levels and fuel prices, and a greater awareness of environmental issues, have also created demand for a new generation of microcars, and car makers have responded accordingly with exciting new designs.
Illustrated with over 70 colour photographs, this book celebrates the best of these weird and wonderful motoring marvels.
"There are some fairly wrong-looking creations in this little volume about equally diminutive motors. Disturbingly compelling." – Classic Cars
"There are some treasures here, including those odd three-wheelers made to dodge the UK road tax rules and other cars that were triggered by the mid-'50s Suez Crisis and the concerns about petrol supplies dwindling. At less than $20 (NZ) this is not a bad little book at all." – New Zealand Classic Car
"A compact, 96-page paperback packed with colour photos of surviving quirky economy cars. This is a fun introduction to these minimalist motors." – Classic & Sports Car
"Oh the joy of delights which come in little packages. If nothing else this shrunken compendium of tiny motoring tots makes one smile. The dotty dainties therein fascinate and appall at one and the same time." – Gay Classic Car Group
"This is a cracking effort, Quellin outlining the good, the bad and the Bajaj Autorickshaw of microcars with a real passion for the subject. A fun read and good value at a fiver." – Octane
"This volume's compact size suits the subject, but in no way should be considered the definitive volume on the subject. It is though, a fascinating introduction to the world of microcars, and at a bargain price! Great value!" – Old Autos, Canada
"With more than 70 colour photos, this title is good value and has 'coffee table book' written all over it." – Australian Classic Car
Models covered: Citroen 2CV, Dyane, Heinkel, Messerschmitt KR 175, Messerschmitt KR 200, Messerschmitt TG 500, Bond Minicar, Bond Bug, Messerschmitt Bond, Topolino (Fiat), Piaggio (Scooters and vans), Iso Isetta, BMW Isetta, Isetta of Great Britain, Velam Isetta, BMW 600, Heinkel Ireland, Trojan, Fend Flitzer, FK 150, KR 175, KR 200, FMR TG 500, Dornier Delta, Zundapp Janus, Fuldamobil S7, Attica, Alta, Nobel, Scootacar, Inter 175, Bond Minicar A- F, Bond 875, Bond Bug, Raleigh/Reliant Van, Reliant Regal (early models), Reliant Regal 3/25, Reliant Robin, Reliant Rebel, Reliant Kitten, Reliant Rialto, Citroen 2CV, Citroen Bijou, Citroen Dyane, Citroen Sahara, Citroen Mehari, Piaggio Ape, Bajaj Autorickshaw, Piaggio Porter, Vespa 400
Peel P50, Peel Trident, Brutsch Mopetta, Brutsch Rollera, Brutsch Pfeil, Brutsch Zwerg, HMV Freeway, Paul Vallee Chantecler, Ligier JS4, Acoma Mini-Comtesse, Coche Ballena, PTV 250, Meadows Friskysport, Meadows Frisky Coupé, Meadows Frisky Family Three, Meadows Frisky Sprint, Lightburn Zeta Sports, Coronet, Fiat 500, Fiat 126, Autobianchi, Barchetta, 600, 600 multipla, SEAT 600, Zastava 600, Abarth 595SS, Trabant P60, Trabant P601, Berkeley B65, Berkelely Foursome, Berkeley T60, Goggomobil T250, Goggomobil T300, Goggomobil Regent, Goggomobil van, Goggomobil 700, Dolphin, Elva sportscars, Vespa Cosa Scooter, Ligier, Aixam, Microcar, Secma, Smart, Carver One, Reva G-Wiz.