Standing at a 1,510 mm height, the five-door hatchback Perodua Axia is certainly a short city car. With a 3,640 mm in length, it fits just nice in a parking spot. But if you have heard of the term microcar, the Axia would definitely not make the list. The 2-seater hatchback Smart Fortwo did not make it too.
The microcar boom arrived after World War II. It is the smallest automobile classification, usually applied to cars that are smaller than city cars. Most of them are fitted with lifting bodywork instead of doors and seats only the driver and a single passenger. They may be minute, but they do have oodles of personality.
Sorry, Axia, you are not the cutest. Check out some of the most adorable microcars of the 20th century below!
Believe it or not, the roots of the BMW Isseta 300 originated in 1952 with Italian manufacturer Iso Sp, which had previously made refrigerators, motor scooters and small three-wheeled trucks. The microcar was powered by BMW’s modified 250cc, four-stroke single-cylinder R25/3 motorcycle engine.
The Champion CH-2 was designed by Hermann Holbein, a former development engineer of BMW before WWII and Albert Maier, an engineer of the gear-maker ZF Company in 1949. Only 11 examples of the CH-2 were built before the next model (Champion 250) was built. And perhaps 2 of these original CH-2 models survive today.
When race car driver Raymond Flowers approached the Meadows Company to manufacture a small, light car for the working class that was sporty and fun, the world soon gets the Frisky Sport. While it weighed only 700 lbs, its Villiers 2-cylinder two stroke engine only produced 16 hp. This was enough power to move the car up to 65 mph.
Retro and Italian; aptly named the Fiat 500 Bambino, this microcar was born in August 1968. It has easily been Fiat’s most successful car during that period, with more than 1.5 million sold! Bet you thought a Mini Cooper was the cutest, hey?
The Paul Vallee Chantecler is a ‘bubble car’ that was made after WWII. It has all of five horsepower and is as close as you can get to driving around in an egg. If you ever own it, we suggest that you drive it only around your neighbourhood.
The two-seater Lightburn Zeta Sports was introduced in 1964. The fibreglass bodied car weighed 400 kilograms (882 lb) and ran on 10-inch wheels with all-round drum brakes. It lacked doors and bumper bars, but why bother when you can just jump in?
It is unfortunate that these cars are not available in Malaysia. But if they are, we will not see them going down the MRR2 anytime of the day, definitely.
In the past, we have shared with you on the musically termed cars, the world’s smallest cars, a car named after Road Runner and cars that come with animal features! Go check them out now if you have not!
*Photos are courtesy of Google Image Search