Thursday, February 28, 2008

28th Southwest Unique Little Car Show - April 4-6, 2008

The 28th Annual Southwest Unique Little Car Show should prove to be one of the best ever. Microcars and Minicars will converge on Prescott, Arizona, the Territorial Capital of Arizona in 1864, and the site of the largest stand of Ponderosa Pine in the world.
As with past shows, the ULCS will feature displays, a cruise to a local drive-in, prizes, and a terrific opportunity to meet with other minicar people.

March 4th is the deadline for booking hotel rooms at the special ULCS rate, and March 10th is the deadline for pre-registration.

Click the logo above for details.

MicroSouth 2008 - April 4-6, 2008

It's not too late to make your plans to attend MicroSouth 2008 -- the microcar place to be in April (on the east coast). Displays and gatherings are planned for the entire weekend, and Dennis Gage, from the TV series, "My Classic Car" will be filming for an episode scheduled to air in the 2009 season.
Participation is free, but the organizers need your pre-registration by March 21st. For details, click on the logo above.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Northwest VW Club -- Spring Cruise-In

The Northwest VW Club is welcoming other small car owners to join them at their Spring Cruise-In.

March 16, 2008: XXX Cruise-In. 2 PM XXX Root Beer Drive-In (Issaquah, Washington) Cruise your German steel to the last original XXX Drive-In in the nation. Catch up with friends. Show-N-Shine. Great eats.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

VSCCA 50th Anniversary June Tour

OK...this isn't really a Microcar & Minicar event -- but it's a cool enough event to warrant inclusion in the online newsletter.

The VSCCA (Vintage Sports Car Club of America) is turning 50 this year, and they are hosting a rally (well, it's really a tour -- so don't worry about your car keeping up). It's an open event. You don't have to be a VSCCA club member, and your car doesn't have to be a VSCCA-eligible car. Although it's probably more fun to enter with a sports car, or at least a vintage car. (Minicars are, of course, welcome.)

The tour starts at the Red Lion Inn, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. From Friday evening (June 20th) through Sunday, tour participants will travel through the Berkshires, taking in the sites, and eating at really wonderful restaurants.

Details on the tour can be found at: VSCCA 5oth Anniversary June Tour.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MINUTIA - New Issue at the Mailer

Issue 16, Number 3 of MINUTIA is at the mailer and should be arriving at member's homes soon. The cover article is from Norman Broski, describing the work involved in taking a "basket-case" Vespa 400 to an award winner.

This issue also includes articles on Saab's -- winners of the 1956 Great American Mountain Rallye.

Make sure you don't miss an issue. You can join the Microcar & Minicar Club at:

Friday, February 8, 2008

Car of the Future?

Time Magazine named the City Car (a concept from MIT's Media Lab) one of the best inventions of 2007.

"Aiming for the sweet spot between the comfort of a private vehicle and the efficiency of public transportation, the City Car from MIT's Media Lab is a stackable electric car that can be checked out like a luggage cart at the airport, then returned to any station around the city. Electric motors in each wheel eliminate the need for a mechanical drivetrain, and these 5-ft.-long (1.5 m) two-seaters zip along at 55 m.p.h. (about 90 km/h)." Time Inc.

By placing stacks in urban spaces and key points of convergence, the vehicle allows the citizens the flexibility to combine mass transit effectively with individualized mobility. The stack receives incoming vehicles and electrically charges them. Similar to luggage carts at the airport, users simply take the first fully charged vehicle at the front of the stack. The City car utilizes fully integrated in-wheel electric motors and suspension systems called, "Wheel Robots." The wheel robots eliminate the need traditional drive train configurations like engine blocks, gear boxes, and differentials because they are self-contained, digitally controlled, and reconfigurable. Additionally, the wheel robot provides all wheel power and steering capable of 360 degrees of movement, thus allowing for Omni-directional movement. The vehicle can maneuver in tight urban spaces and park by sideways translation. This technology is patented-pending and under design development at the MIT Media Lab.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

"Get Smart" - The Smart Cars Arrive

After a decade of use in Europe, the Smart Cars have finally arrived in the US.

SmartUSA, the US distributors of the Smart Fortwo, has been heralding the arrival of these little cars for what seems years -- through concert sponsorships, a nationwide tour, and an innovative $99 reservation program. And the cars have finally started to arrive.

SmartUSA claims to have 30,000 pre-reservations for the cars -- suggesting that an interested buyer, walking into a showroom could have as much as a year's wait for delivery of a car. (Assuming that all 30,000 people choose to buy a car, since the program is flexible and allows customers to get refunds with no penalty.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bring out your BMWs (Dixi's, Isetta's, BMW 600's and 700's)

The 2008 Vintage at the Vineyards meet should prove to be the biggest gathering of vintage BMW motorcars and motorbikes ever for the event. And what's a meeting of BMW's without the cars that kept BMW alive -- the Isetta and the BMW 600. And don't forget, one of the earliest BMW's, the Dixi (a licensed version of the Austin 7) also qualifies as a mini/micro car.
The event organizers tell us that four Isettas are already registered -- and they have made the promise: "I always give Isettas the best spot on the display area because everybody loves 'em."

Vintage at the Vineyards is a fun , family oriented event, and best of all it's FREE.

May 24th - 25th annual Vintage at the Vineyards, huge vintage BMW gathering, Westbend Vineyards, Lewisville, North Carolina . Oompah band, wine tasting and tours, games for kids. Event website:

Monday, February 4, 2008

East Coast Crosley Meet

A move is on to put together a Crosley Meet at one of the largest antique automobile shows in the Nation -- "Das Awkscht Fescht" (Pennsylvania Dutch for "The August Festival"). The show is scheduled for August 1-3, 2008 and is sponsored by the Ontelaunee region of the Antique Automobile Club of America. It takes place on the grounds of Macungie memorial Park in Macungie, Pennsylvania (just outside Allentown, Pennsylvania).

Barry Seel is spearheading the effort, and is encouraging participation from throughout the northeast -- Ohio too. You can reach Barry at crosley19[at] or write him at:

Barry Seel
4450 Maple Drive
Walnutport, Pennsylvania 18088

French Connection

If you are looking for a truly unusual microcar, this may be for you.

A collector in the south of France is selling his collection. (Michael lives in Montpellier, and can be reached at: gthawk[at] )

Notable among his colletion are:

  • 1952 REYONNAH,one of the few survivors of the 12 produced...
  • 1976 FLIPPER
  • 1953 VESPA 400
  • 1968 SOLYTO (minitruck)
  • 1959 BMW 600
  • 1958 Messerschmitt KR 200
  • Poirier (trike) Hydral engine

Friday, February 1, 2008

Superbowl Ad features a Panhard

Garmin, a manufacturer of portable GPS systems is planning to run an ad featuring a Panhard driving through the streets of Paris during this Sunday's Superbowl game. Last year's Superbowl drew an audience of more than 93 million viewers -- so it seems that the Panhard will be seen by quite a crowd.

The ad pokes fun at Napoleon. He is the Panhard driver, but can't been seen due to his short stature. A video of the ad can be seen at Garmin's site.

A new MINI, a new FIAT a new TRABANT?

The boxy East German-made car—perhaps best known in the West for its prominent placement above the stage in U2's Zoo TV tour 15 years ago—might be on the verge of a comeback. The motorheads at Autoblog report that German company Herpa has secured the rights to the name and plans to introduce a full-size concept at next year's Frankfurt Auto Show. Can't wait that long? This February, the brand is introducing a toy version, which is arguably even better than the real thing.