Friday, March 28, 2008

VentureOne Concept Car at NY Auto Show

The VentureOne concept car (actually it would be licensed as a motorcycle) was shown at the NY Auto Show this week. It is an X Prize contestant. (X Prize is a contest to come up with cars that get 100 miles-per-gallon.)
If you get close to this one you can see that it is a mock-up, made out of foam -- but the company promoting the VentureOne is very positive about its prospects.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Little Cars Make a Big Splash at NY Auto Show

The Smart Cars were out in force at the NY Auto Show this week. Unlike last year, when Smart was a "no-show" at the event, SmartUSA had a reasonable-sized booth at the show. They were exhibiting three variations of the Smart ForTwo, and the NY audience seemed to like the little cars -- lining up to get seats in the cars, to try them out for size.

The next booth over was the MINI booth, with a wide selection of cars, featuring the new, extended MINI Clubman.

It was interesting how the Smart cars managed to make the MINI's look positively big.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bubblecar Exhibition in Rome

An exhibit of 40 restored bubblecars (and other microcars) are on display in Rome. The exhibit will run from March 6th through April 6th.

I'd like to provide more information about the collection, but the website is in Italian. I welcome translations, as Babbelfish doesn't seem to do a very good job in translating the site.

Berkeleys at British Car Day XXII

Northeastern Ohio's 22nd annual British Car Show (Ursuline College on Cleveland's East Side) invites all Berkeleys to attend the show.

9:00AM to 3:00PM

Friday Hospitality Suite
Over 250 Cars Expected
35 Classes - Awards by Popular Vote
Parts & Regalia Vendors
A Portion of the Proceeds Will Be Donated to "Goodrich-Gannett Neighborhood Center"
Rocker Cover Races and Concours

By Post:
British Car Day at Ursuline
318 Hampton Park
Westerville, OH 43081-5723
By Phone:
614.899.2394 – eve
614.899.2493 – fax

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mystery Minicar

MINUTIA (the print version) runs a regular feature titled, "Mystery Minicar." The readers of MINUTIA have been really good at identifying the mystery cars -- and supplying information (history, companies, designers, etc.). But the car listed in issue 16-2 seems to have everyone stumped.

If you know what it is -- or if you have an idea of what it is, let us know.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Classic Motorsports magazine named MINUTIA the Newsletter of the Month. (May 2008 issue of Classic Motorsports)
The write-up in the magazine highlighted MINUTIA's coverage of technical tips, historical articles, member profiles, and coming events. And the piece ended with:
"If you've got even a small level of interest in microcars, take a little time to visit It costs $25 for a U.S. membership to the Microcar & Minicar Club, and that includes the subscription to MINUTIA."

Daihatsu Trevis at Geneva Auto Show

Daihatsu took the opportunity to show their Trevis city car at the Geneva Auto Show last week. Although not new (the Trevis has been around for a couple of years), it is interesting to consider that the success of the Smart in the US might lead more automakers -- like Daihatsu -- to look for minicar options to export to the US.
At just over 11 feet long, the Trevis has a 58-horse 1.0L DOHC 3-cylinder engine. It gets 49mpg in the European city/hwy with a 5-speed manual transmission (39mpg wiht the optional 4-speed automatic).

We think it looks more like the original Mini than the new MINI does. Look for it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

19th Annual Orphan Car Tour

The 19th Annual Orphan Car Tour is scheduled for Sunday, June 8th.
The Tour will traverse scenic backroads in the vicinity of Hampstead, Maryland. This year's Tour includes stops at two private antique car collections along the route, and a late-afternoon buffet-style dinner (reservations required).
Bill and Sue Johnson are the tour designers for 2008 and they are among the elite in Orphan Car Tour designers. Bring your thinking cap and attention to detail as both Bill and Sue will challenge you this year.
The Tour welcomes a variety of micro and minicars, inclucing: Isettas, Messerschmitts, Goggomobils, Crosleys, Berkeleys, DAFs, DKWs, King Midgets, NSUs, etc. Enjoy your "orphan" (discontinued-make) car "on the road", and see other interesting "orphans" as well! For more information see our website, , phone Jon Battle at 703-392-6870, or e-mail

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Settle all of your "What Car Was in that Movie?" Arguments

The Internet Movie Cars Database ( is probably the most complete collection of "Cars in Movies" information. And you can search by movie, or by make and model of car.
If you've got a bet about what movies show a Pulse (Owosso Motor Car Company), a quick search on will yield three movies (L.A. Story, Hillbilly Monster, Back to the Future Pt. II), and the site is filled with links, allowing you to look at stills from the movies, and to link to information about the cars.

Warning - be prepared to spend several hours, searching the site for obscure cars, and even more obscure movies.

Toyota IQ Concept Car is Back at the Geneva Motor Show

The Toyota IQ - presented in Frankfort last year - was back on the podium in Geneva this week. The little car (less than 3 metres long) is described as seating 3+1. (It has an adult seat behind the passenger seat, and a child seat behind the driver.)

The IQ concept was created at ED2, Toyota's advanced European design studio in the south of France. At less than three metres in length (2980mm) it is 425mm shorter than the Toyota Aygo and more than 770mm shorter than the Toyota Yaris. Yet, in width and height (1680mm x 1480mm) it is comparable to Yaris – so the ultra compact exterior dimensions hide a big interior. It will seat four with space for three adults and a child – or the fourth seat can be utilised for luggage space.

CBS 2 & Northwest Herald Report that Ken Weger will open Private Microcar Museum

Late last year the Northwest Herald reported that Ken Weger (Crystal Lake, Illinois) is planning to build a private museum to house his collection of 85 micro and minicars. The plan reportedly calls for the construction of a 15,000-square-foot, two-story building on his property. The building will include room for what Weger hopes will become the world's largest micro-car reference library. The museum could open as early as Spring of 2008.
Weger's collection is currently housed in a workshop/garage on his 7-acre lot that he refers to as "the barn."