Friday, July 31, 2009

GO _ GO _ GO

And today, a few more goggomobils - Tanks to theage dot com dot au

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Goggomobil vs. Isetta

Admit it.

We all want to know which car would win in the 1/4 mile. Is it the Goggomobil or the Isetta? (Unfortunately, I can't tell if this is a fair fight. Is it a big-block [400cc] Goggo -- and is it a 250 or 300cc Isetta?)

Place your bets.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Flying Berkeley

When I first saw this video I didn't read the caption -- and all I could think was, "Wow, that's one fast Berkeley."
But the engine didn't quite sound right, so I went back and looked at it again. Sure enough -- while it is a T 60 on the outside, it has a 1273cc Mini engine on the inside. Probably three times bigger than the engine the car started with.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Racing Tiger

OK...who can provide the details? We know that these Tigers were raced. We've even seen pictures. But no one has come up with any stories.
Check it out...a Messerschmitt TG 500 tearing up the track. (Well...maybe not "tearing" it up -- but going at a respectable pace.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Understanding the Attraction of Trabants

On the surface one might argue that Trabants are some sad little cars. They are underpowered -- but still manage to pump out an amazing blue exhaust cloud. While they may be impervious to rust (at least the body), they are flimsy and offer all the crash protection of a Japanese Tea House.

Despite all this, Trabants have a devoted following. Is it their history as an Eastern Bloc icon? Their long history as just about the only car an East German family could own?


We think it is their brush with fame. How many cars have featured prominently in a major rock tour -- or in a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit shoot?

Yup...these little cars sure get around.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Celeb sighting

Elle Macpherson finds the new Fiat 500 C sexy and cool. She already drives
the hatchback version but after trying out the fliptop she flipped for it,

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What are the rules ? ? ?

Sometimes we include cars that slightly are outside our "Oh so strict" guidelines.
Here's a shot of my new HOOPMOBILE - Liberace edition. 1000cc engine -
Yeah I've got that goin' with this 3 cylinder. But I'm a smidgen over 10 feet -
Give me a break on that one - So's a Panhard - I think. Anyhoop - Whatcha say -
And thanks to Hunter- Gatherer NYC for putting this shot on his dot com blog.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Isetta Week on Ebay

Is it the economy? Is it the weather? Is it global warming?

OK...maybe it doesn't have anything to do with global warming -- but this seems to be the season for Isettas. A quick check on ebay showed five of the little guys on the sales block. All of them are from 1958 -- four 300's and one 600 Limo. Two of the 300's have "buy it now" prices in the $30's, while the 600 can be had for just under $17k. If you are the gambling type, follow them all. The lowest price (as of Thursday, July 23rd) was $565.55 -- but that's sure to go up considerably before the auction ends.

And if you are handy, take a look at the restoration candidate from Nebraska. But be the interest of full disclosure, the seller admits that it smells like a possum. Hmmm.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Think Pink

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sunny Day in a Small Car

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Walter Cronkite: Loss of a news anchor, sports car enthusiast, and microcar racer

Walter Cronkite, the person most of us invited into our living rooms every evening, died this weekend at the age of 92. While most memories center around his broadcasts, most notably his coverage of the death of JFK, Cronkite was an avid sportsman -- racing cars and sailboats.
Cronkite was a fan of traditional sportscars, and can be seen in an old clip, driving an Austin Healey, and talking about the pleasures of sportscar driving, and of the excitement of racing.

But he was interested in driving most anything -- leading to his entry into the 1958 Little LeMans race at Lime Rock Park, driving a Goggomobil Ts400 with co-driver, Frank Macauley. (Their Goggomobile was the first car to exit the race -- with a flat battery.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Look - Up in the air - It's a ...

If you happen to be cruising down Route 9 in Bayville NJ look up.
You might happen to see this old Fiat on the roof of an auto parts store.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Crosley's -- in all shapes and sizes at the Crosley Nationals

There is no rule that an SUV has to be big. That's right...Crosley came out with the first SUV in late 1947 -- a variation of their popular wagon.

This is just one of the many Crosleys at the 2009 Crosley Nationals, held last weekend in Wauseon, Ohio. If you missed it, too bad. But don't worry, the 2010 Nationals have already been scheduled. July 8-10, 2010 in Wauseon, Ohio.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gould’s 14th annual Microcar and Minicar Classic

Gould's 14th Annual Classic was held last weekend -- and by all accounts it was a big success.

Dan Strohl from Hemmings attended the show and posted his impressions of the event. Check out his story on the Hemmings Blog, and look for more in Hemmings Motor News and in MINUTIA.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Russian Rides

Here are a couple of different ideas of what wheels to use on your Russian ride.
The Lada Niva on top could be kind of a harsh ride, but no blowouts. The owner
of the Zaporozhets is prepared for any terrain.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A new twist on the movie title, "Gone in 60 seconds." How about, "Built in 55 seconds?"

OK...that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but Zdzislaw Arlet, director of the Fiat 500 plant in Tichy, Poland recently told the New York Times that they are rolling a new Fiat 500 off the line every 55 seconds. At that rate, minicars should be taking over the world.

The Fiat 500 is one of the few success stories in the automotive industry this year, and the Tichy plant is one of the keys to its success. The plant employs 5,000 people, and 1,700 new employees were hired last year. We may be in a recession, but don't tell Fiat.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This Aerocar has Wings

Last week we shared some images of Dave Major's Isetta Aerocar -- an Isetta powered by an aircraft engine, on skis or wheels.

Today we are going to "turn back the hands of time," to show you Molt Taylor's original Aerocar. The original Aerocar was designed and built in 1949, by Molt Taylor, an engineer who worked on the Navy's missile program. Although Taylor's design attracted 500 orders, only six examples were built -- five Aerocar I's and two Aerocar II's. Four Aerocar I's still exist -- two in museums (EAA AirVenture Museum, Golden Wings Museum) and two in private hands.

And if you think these are the coolest cars/airplanes ever -- take heart -- one of them is for sale.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ice Fishing in July?

OK...this may not be the season for ice fishing (unless you are in the southern hemisphere), but we found this cool little car (mobile ice shanty) on a photographer's website, and couldn't resist showing it.

Tom Roering is an ice fisherman who invented a cool product: a lightweight amphibious vehicle that is also an ice fishing shelter. It’s called the Wilcraft (“Wil” stands for water, ice, and land). If it falls through the ice, it floats. It has room enough for two people to comfortably fish together. It can be adapted as an ice rescue vehicle. And it fits on the back of a pickup truck.

Inventor Portrait: Tom Roering from David Friedman on Vimeo.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Awsome 850

Darrell Vittone's Fast Fiat from way back when (VW Power)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Slick 600s

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fancy 500s

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Mechanic's Glossary

There was a great story in the Spring 1999 issue of MINUTIA. This isn't all of it -- just a sampling of the article by Peter C. King.

Hammer: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive Isetta parts not far from the object we are trying to hit.

Mechanic's knife: Used to open and slice throught he contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on boxes containing soft tops, windows, tire covers or other soft and scratchable parts.

Hacksaw: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion. The more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes (not to mention the cut you're making).

More to come...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Compare and Contrast

Dave Major's
Isetta Aerocar 2
Tatra Skimobile