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Tuesday Twist: Microcars On Film Photo:
 
 
Peter Anderson | Jan, 22 2013 | 1 Comment

Some amazing things came out of the Fifties and Sixties, big and small. When it came to cars, Europe was still struggling after World War II, so cheered themselves up by making comically small cars, dubbed microcars.

Microcars were an attempt by entrepreneurial types to get more people mobile in a struggling post-war Europe and, seemingly, a new way control population growth with flimsy fibreglass bodies and amateur construction methods.

They were even smaller than the original Fiat Cinquecento and Morris Mini.

A fantastically nostalgic Flickr page, Fine Cars, has posted a series of photos of these vintage tots to remind us how fortunate we are the craze didn't take off.

You probably recognise the Peel P50 with it's three wheeled architecture and single opening door. Originally built between 1962 and 1966, the 49cc rocket sold in very low numbers (50, as it happens) and were £199 each.

In 1965, a Porsche 911 cost exactly ten times as much and the best-selling Ford Cortina 1200 was £675.

The aim of the P50 was to transport a chap and his briefcase at speeds of up to 60km/h.

Terrifyingly, in 2011, investment program Dragon's Den awarded Gary Hillman and Faizal Khan £80,000 ($125,000) to build the P50 at prices starting from £10,000 ($15,500). Powered by a 2.5kW electric motor, it will hit 50km/h and travel up to 100km.

German company Fuldamobil sold licences all over the world and so spawned many variants. Versions were built in Norway and Greece and even as far afield as Chile and Argentina.

The Nobel 200 was a UK-built machine built on the Fuldamobil S-7 and boasted a Jetson-esque fibreglass body and the Sachs 191cc engine from the Messerschmitt microcar.

The Mochet CM 125 has perhaps one of the more interesting origins. Charles Mochet made pedal cars for adults but in 1946, strapped a Ydral one cylinder two-stroke to drive the rear wheels.

By 1953, the little burping boxcar had 125cc good for a horse-rivalling 3.64kW and even sported doors.

The Mochet was killed by a change in legislation requiring a licence for anything over 50cc and the dizzyingly cheap Citroen 2CV, with which you could actually do something other than go from A to B.

Derivative is the best word to apply to the 1965 Hillers - Google wasn't much help, but we can tell you it has amusing tail fins and a grille that wouldn't look out of place on a large Ford or Cadillac. As a bonus, that grille could slice your potatoes if you want chips.

You can buy one, too. RM Auctions has one for sale and claims it was a one-off children's car and is expecting somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000.

For more, jump to the Fine Cars Flickr feed.

 
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