Monday, October 11, 2010

Very Light Car

We found this ad in the August 1956 issue of "The Light Car". The image is a direct pick-up from the Bond brochure of the time. (An article about the Bond appeared in MINUTIA 17-4.)

It looks like fun -- but we hope they don't plan on buying too much at the store. With four people in the car, there's not much room for anything else.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fairthorpe Atom Newsreel


This British Pathé newsreel is posted on the blog, Fairthorpe Restoration. I wish it had sound, because I'd love to hear that little BSA 250cc engine pulling the car with three people and luggage in it. (I'm guessing the suitcases are empty.)

The unusual headlights identify this is the original Mk 1 car from 1954. Subsequent bodies had the lights faired into the body. Check out our earlier look at the Atom.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Crosley Wagon v. Joe McCarthy

When I stumbled across this photo on the Together Sauk Prarie blog, I couldn't resist posting it. It looks like the little Crosley (with the help of Star editor Leroy Gore) played a part in the "Joe Must Go" club -- a grassroots effort to recall Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy.

For the Crosley fans in the audience, this car has the chrome bullet nose of the 1948 1/2 model. But, since it doesn't have the bar grill, we are guessing this car is a CC model from somewhere between 1946 and 1948 that was "updated" with the bullet nose. (According to the Crosley Automobile Club, the bullet nose and grill bars were "offered as an option to update earlier Crosleys to the 'New Look' . Since the bars were available from the dealer you will find them on earlier CC models.")

Let's hear it for the Crosley -- and Leroy Gore.

Monday, July 19, 2010

NSU Prinz 30 -- Winner at Sebring

According to Racing Sports Cars, the NSU Sport Prinz, driven by Fred Fischhof came in 1st among GT600 cars at the 1961 Sebring 4 Hour race. (It came in 13th overall.)

Shortly after the race, Fischhof was interviewed by representatives of Gulf, and provided this response in the advertising they ran later that year:

RED BARBER: (to Fred Fischhof, Class 3/4 winner in NSU Prinz) "As another driver who ran on Gulf, and won, what do you have to say, Fred?"
FRED FISCHHOF: "Like you say, Red, Gulf Crest really burns clean and keeps the carbon under control. The car didn't miss a lick. It picked up quickly out of the curves and hit peak power on the straights. Maybe I have a little extra reason for saying so."
RED BARBER: "What do you mean by 'a little extra reason,' Fred?"
FRED FISCHHOF: "Well, I drove the smallest car in the race at Sebring. So it was a most responsive one. I could be sensitive to even minor differences in performance."

OK -- now you've heard it from Red and Fred.

(NB: We suspect this is a "file" photo, since Fred's winning car was number 34.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

ALDEN staRRcar

From the Museum of Learning:

The Alden staRRcar, for "Self-Transport Road and Rail Car", was a design for a personal rapid transit PRT system designed by William Alden in the 1960s. It originally envisioned small electrically powered cars suitable for short distance trips at low speed within urban areas, which could optionally merge onto tracks that would provide power and guidance for high speed travel over longer inter-city distances. It was one of the earliest "dual-mode vehicles" to be proposed, and one of the earliest to be actually built.

Over its lifetime the design changed dramatically, originally a four-person vehicle with dual-mode operation but eventually emerging as a much larger people mover for 20 people. In this form, Boeing Vertol was awarded a construction contract in 1970. It holds the distinction as the only PRT system to enter commercial service, as the basis for the Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit system. The Morgantown system first opened for service in 1975, and with the exception of a closure for a major expansion, has remained in service since then.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Racing Messerschmitts

This clip is described as part of a Finnish musical comedy - Iskelmäprinssi.

We've always been fascinated with the idea of racing microcars -- particularly Messerschmitts. (See the post from June 26.) While a Tiger is probably a better choice for racing, it's great to see these cars going wheel-to-wheel.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Crosley at the New York World's Fair (1939)

Crosley was a major manufacturer in the late 1930's -- making everything from radios to refrigerators -- and, of course, minicars.

The picture above is a publicity shot, taken in front of the Crosley Pavilion in the World of Tomorrow section of the fair. Rides were given to guests of the fair on a short course just outside the pavilion.

There is a brief clip showing the cars and the pavilion twelve miutes and fifty seconds into this amateur film.

If the video doesn't run -- try this link:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How many people can you fit in your minicar? (Renault Estafette)

This schematic is dated 1960 -- making this a Renault Estafette R2130/31. According to Wikipedia, that model was manufactured from 1959 to 1962, and was powered by an 845cc engine.

An interesting question to ask is...with seats for nine people, how can this car manage with a payload capacity of 600 kg (1,323 lbs)? Unless you include children, I don't know nine Americans who collectively weigh less than 1,323 lbs (that's an average of 147 lbs/person).

Friday, July 9, 2010

All In The Family

This is an Austin 7 that means more to me than most. It is a 1929 or 1930 RK Austin Seven Saloon -- but what's significant to me, is that my uncle is behind the wheel.

Petrol and new cars were hard to come by after the war (WWII), so an aging Austin Seven was the perfect car to have -- particularly on the Channel Islands, where there was little need for long distance trips.

A clearer drawing of the RK can be found on Austin Seven Clubs Association website.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Did her car come out of his trunk?

We haven't a clue what this picture is all about -- but it almost looks like the little car could fit in the trunk of that Continental.

Maybe he's upset that her car has a "Continental Kit" and his doesn't.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hot? How about a "Cream-O-Pop"?

5¢ "IT'S Cream-O-Pop TIME"

Yes, it's time for delicious ice cream coated with Hershey's Cream-O-Pop pure milk chocolate.

And this guy looks quite proud of his Cream-O-Pop mobile. It's an Austin Bantam. We can't read the year, but the plates identify it as coming from Memphis, Tennessee. (Certainly a hot location -- good for a cool "Cream-O-Pop".)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Triumph Ten Sedan

The Triumph Standard 8 & 10 (and the Triumph 10) were manufactured from 1953 to 1960. The 8 was powered by a 803cc engine, while the 10 sported a 948cc powerplant generating 40 bhp.

Although they don't seem to be very common here in the States, almost 10,000 sedans were produced (and another 7351 wagons).

Monday, July 5, 2010

Those Wacky Little Shriner Cars

Maybe this should have run yesterday -- because we're pretty sure that a bunch of these Shriner cars were participating in Fourth of July parades across the country.

Believe it or not -- there is even a website devoted to a company that makes these little guys -- Shriner Mini Cars.

What do you suppose started the tradition of grown up guys, in tiny cars, wearing unusual headgear?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

We dont' know anything about this little car -- but it certainly is patriotic.

This car is a little bigger, but equally appropriate for the Fourth of July. (It is parked in the garage at the Petersen Museum.)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Crosley Road Trip (part 5)

We come to the close of our Crosley Roat Trip in Lucasville, Ohio.

Our intrepid travelers are spending a fine December day with their trusty Crosley. And it looks like the weather was in their favor -- warm enough to venture outside with short sleeves (or with sleeves rolled up), and sunny enough to require shades. (It looks like the young man on the left has taken off his dress shirt to expose suspenders and a t-shirt.)

"Kenny, Malverne &
Red Haney
Lucasville, Ohio
Dec. Day - 48"

That's the last of them. Anybody know who they are?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Crosley Road Trip (part 4)

Perhaps it is time to take a dip in the waters of Lake White. But, by the looks of it, only one of our young adventurers is getting ready for a swim. The other two are still in shirts and ties -- and keeping in the background.

"Red Haney,
Malverne and Crosley --
Lake White
Waverly, Ohio
May 48"

Sometimes we forget that a shirt and tie was "casual dress" in the late 1940's. But -- boys being boys, nothing keeps them from "hamming" for the camera.

Here too...who is taking the picture?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Crosley Road Trip (part 3)

It is a little clearer now. Jimmy Dwight (J.D. in most of the photos) didn't drive the Crosley to Portsmouth, Ohio by himself. He came with his Daddy.

"JD and Daddy
Day JD got lost in
Portsmouth, Ohio.
May -- 48"

Well...despite having gotten lost in Portsmouth, J.D. seems much happier with his Daddy than he was in the earlier photo (part 1).

At first we wondered who took the picture. Daddy clearly took the picture that was on yesterday's post -- but we don't know who took this one. But, looking closer, we realize that this looks like a lot of the pictures we have taken -- when no one was around to help. Our guess is that the camera is propped up on a rock or a flat spot (though perhaps not too flat) and the timer was used. (It looks too crooked to have been taken by anyone else.)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Crosley Road Trip (part 2)

No location is listed on the reverse of this photo -- but we know from others that it was taken in Portsmouth, Ohio.

"Jimmy Dwight
316 No. 8th St.
May - 48"

We tried to Google the address to see where little J.D. was that day -- but the maps can't seem to find the exact location. (8th Street runs east to west -- so where do you go for North 8th Street?)

What do you suppose he's doing...sitting so calmly on the wall, with his feet on cinderblocks? We can only guess.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Crosley Road Trip (part 1)

Sometimes you stumble across pictures that tell a story. Other times you find pictures, and you wish you knew what the story was. This is the first of several photos that seem to document the road trips of a few young men -- across Ohio in their trusty Crosley Sedan. The backs of the photos identify some names and show that this car took the young men through several towns in southern Ohio, near the Kentucky and West Virginia borders.

"Malvern, Bill, Jim & J.D. (crying)
Ironton, Ohio -- June 26th.
Charles over fence"

No year -- but, based on the other photos, it is probably 1948.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mystery Car

The photo is marked "1947" on the reverse, and we're guessing it was taken in Europe. Other than that -- we're not really sure.

Take a guess, and drop us a note.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby

You've got us. This posting has absolutely nothing to do with the song, "Ruby", by the Kaiser Chiefs. In fact, we had never heard of the band -- but stumbled on the song as we were looking up some information on the Austin 7 Ruby.

The back of the photo identifies this car as a "Four-passenger Ruby Saloon", with a stamp that is was received on October 30, 1936 by the editorial department. (But we don't know what publication the photo came from. It is also marked, "1937", leading us to believe that this was a promotional photo of a 1937 model.

According to the Austin Seven Companion, the first Ruby was announced in 1934. "During its production run, the Ruby, its variants and derivatives must have been built in numbers approaching 90,000. These cars provided, and continue to provide, excellent and enjoyable motoring for many enthusiasts. Criticism is made sometimes of the Ruby's greater weight than the earlier cars, but it is worth pointing out that the heavier construction was to accommodate a monster load: as the 1934 handbook says, 'this new model will carry in comfort four adults up to a weight of 40 stones'. and who knows how many motorists that heavy there were about in the 1930's."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Racing Tigers

The concept of racing microcars has always appealed to us, so we were quite pleased to find these photos in an old issue of the German magazine, OLDTIMER-MARKT (November 1994).

The sum of its Qualitaten lets it also on the racing course -- even in capacity-stronger classes -- a Wörtchen put in a word. Equipped with 40's Solex carburetors, he approves himself to such causes up to 16 litres gasoline on 100 kilometers! Pretty often Fend thereby sits term steering wheel sport tigers with that Regensburg characteristic R-AX-350 -- and it is told, the work drivers well would do not to overhaul their boss. translation services still aren't perfect.

If you understand German, you are probably better off translating that paragraph from the November issue of Oldtimer-Markt yourself.

Die Summe seiner Qualitaten läßt ihn auch auf der Rennstrecke -- selbst in hubraumstärkeren Klassen -- ein Wörtchen mitreden. Mit 40er Solex-Vergaser bestückt, genehmigt er sich zu solchen Anlässen bis zu 16 Liter Benzin auf 100 Kilometern! Nicht selten sitzt Fend dabei selbst hinterm Lenker des Sport-Tiger mit dem Regensburger Kennzeichen R-AX-350 -- und es wird erzählt, die Werksfahrer würden gut daran tun, ihren Chef nicht zu überholen.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hanomag (Kommißbrot)

Bild A-7

Reihe 1, Kraftfahrzeuge

Hanomag (Kommißbrot)

Serie A
Aus der Frühzeit des Kraftwagens

1 Zylinder, 500 ccm, Heckmotor, hergestellt bis 1927

Hanomag A.G., Hannover

Bilder-Studio Bemeleit jr. - Frankfurt a.M. - Vilbeler Str. 29

(For more about the Hanomag, check the December 28, 2008 posting.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010



A Series of 25

No. 7

The stubby Hunslet "SCOOTACAR" styled with two front wheels and single rear, seats two tandemwise. Powered by a 197 cc unit, it has a top speed in excess of 45 m.p.h. with low fuel consumption.

Ewbanks Ltd.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


& Scooters

A Series of 25

No. 8

Introduced by the English branch of the German firm Progress, this three-wheeler resembles the design of the "BRUTSCH". It has a plastic body and is powered by a 197 cc engine. Top speed about 45 m.p.h.

Ewbanks Ltd.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Play your Messerschmitt Card

& Scooters

A Series of 25

No. 18
MESSERSCHMITT (Roadster), Germany

The "Roadster" offspring of another famous firm, is the three-wheel version. It has an air-cooled 191 cc engine fitted in the rear, capable of approximately 65 m.p.h. Seats two and one child (small), tandemwise.

Ewbanks Ltd.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A three-wheeled "Woody"?

& Scooters

A series of 25

No. 11
DAVID, Spain

A three-wheeler, obtainable as either saloon or utility style vehicle. The engine, placed above the front wheel, develops 10 h.p. at 4,000 revs. and gives a top speed of approximately 50 m.p.h.

Issued by
Ewbanks Ltd.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grandma Prefers Her Tractor

While many of us would do almost anything for a Messerschmitt, this woman appears to prefer her tractor when it comes to transportation. (Maybe the tractor is a better option for her family of six, than the little, tandem-seat, Messerschmitt.)

Can anyone tell us where these shots were taken?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Little Military History Here

We can tell you that the car is a post-war Crosley Wagon -- and we're pretty sure it is a pre-1949 model (CC Model 1946-1948). But we're not so sure about the other details.

Is the young man in the Navy or the AirForce -- and what are the planes in the background? (They kinda' look like Grumman Bearcats, but they are awfully small.)

If you have any ideas, let us know.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Where do you go to get that little car fixed?

Of go to the "Servizio Fiat". Why didn't I know that?

There is an array of Fiats and other cars, (I think there is a Renault 4CV in there as well) all parked in front of the Fiat Service Garage. Other than that, we have no idea what we are looking at. (The sign under the "INA" on the left reads: "National Insurance Institute policies guaranteed from the state". So, maybe they are all there to get their insurance renewed.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Taking a BMW 600 Through the Mountains

It may seem like a crazy thing to do -- but we have the documentation showing that someone took to the mountains with their BMW 600. (Maybe it was the Liège-Brescia-Liège microcar rally.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's a Microcar -- but what is it?

Does anyone have any idea what this is?

The design and workmanship seems too high for it to be an amusement park ride -- but it's awfully low to the ground to be a real car. Let us know what you think.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Here's an Odd One -- Kleinschnittger

Not sure that we've ever seen one of these before -- a 1956 Kleinschnittger.

According to the ebay seller, the company only made about 3,000 of these aluminum-bodied microcars. The descriptions on Wikipedia are pretty brief -- but you might be able to get more information on this German webpage.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Framo " Stromer"

255 Bilder

zweisitzeiges Cabriolet 200 ccm, luftgekühlter Ein-zylinder, Vorderradantrieb, führerscheinfreier Dreiradwagen.

Das reich ausgestattete Original-Sammel-Album zum Preise von RM 1.- ist zu beziehen durch den Spezial-Handel oder direct gegen Voreinsendung des Betrages auf Postscheck-Konto Berlin Nr.23743 vom
“Bilderdienst”, Berlin-Pankow, Berliner Straße.

If you'd like to read more about the Framo Stromer (in English), check out the page on

Friday, June 11, 2010


Miniature Cars & Scooters
A Series of 25

No. 4

The makers of the Fuldamobil, who were first to construct mini-cars after the way, presented this model in 1957. It is constructed of plastic, powered by a 191 cc unit and carries two adults.

Issued by
Ewbanks Ltd.
Eagle Works - Pontefract

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"That's Bond, Bond Mk. D"

Apologies to Ian Fleming.

Miniature Cars & Scooters
A Series of 25

No. 23
BOND (Mark D), Britain
A descendant of the most popular three-wheelers, the Mark D with single front wheel driven by a 197 cc single-cylinder two-stroke engine, it has a top speed of +50 m.p.h. and a consumption of 75 m.p.g.

Issued by
Ewbanks Ltd.
Eagle Works - Pontefract

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too.

While some of us may consider ourselves "too old" to appreciate new music -- you've got to love a band that manages to feature police scooters and a Citroën 2CV in their music video.

This remake of Gloria Gaynor's disco hit, "I Will Survive", should be a hit with any minicar fan.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mitsuoka BUBU Shuttle 50

According to the Mitsuoka website -- the BUBU Shuttle 50 launched in 1982. It was the company's first car, sporting a 50cc engine.

This japanese company seems to do a little bit of everything. We described a 500cc race car produced by the company back in April of 2008.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Keep up the Tempo

255 Bilder

Zweisitziges Cabriolet, 200 ccm Zweitakter, luftgekühlter Einzylinder, füherescheinfreier Dreirad-wagen.

Das reich ausgestattete Original-Sammel-Album zum Preise von RM 1.- ist zu beziehen durch den Spezial-Handel oder direct gegen Voreinsendung des Betrages auf Postscheck-Konto Berlin Nr.23743 vom
“Bilderdienst”, Berlin-Pankow, Berliner Straße.

Not a clue what this says. Check out the Wikipedia Tempo site and the German Tempo Car Owners Association website.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

From Tiny Cars, Mighty Tractors Grow (or something like that)

255 Bilder

Offener Zweisitzer mit Gepäckanhänger, 400 ccm, 12 PS, Zweizylinder – Zweitakter, Heckmotor, Schwingachsen.

Das reich ausgestattete Original-Sammel-Album zum Preise von RM 1.- ist zu beziehen durch den Spezial-Handel oder direct gegen Voreinsendung des Betrages auf Postscheck-Konto Berlin Nr.23743 vom

“Bilderdienst”, Berlin-Pankow, Berliner Straße.

OK -- that's what it says on the back of the card. For more information on Bungartz (and the company's transition from cars to tractors), check out the Bungartz website.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tell us what we have, Don Pardo -- a 1960 King Midget

This is a great segment of "The Price is Right", featuring a 1960 King Midget. The reactions of the contestants to the Midget are priceless. I'm not going to tell you what the retail price of the car was in 1960. You're just going to have to play the clip and see if you know more than the contestants.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Happy National Donut Day!


Today is the day that we all celebrate that tasty confection, the donut. We propose that you take your little cars out and get some donuts. (It is rumored that some donut chains will be offering free donuts in honor of the day -- but we didn't tell you that.)

You think we're making this up? Check it out. National Doughnut Day has been an institution since 1938.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Jump, Jive, an' Wail" on your N.S.U. Prima

Sorry about that...just couldn't resist the reference to Louis Prima.

Miniature Cars
& Scooters
A series of 25
No. 24

N.S.U. Prima, Britain

A british machine usually made in three models.
1. "N.S.U. Prima Five Star"
2. "Prima 150 cc"
3. "Quickly Moped"
All of them finely made machines with first-class road qualities and performance. the smaller model, "Quickly Moped", is exceptionally low in feul consumption.

Issued by
Ewbanks Ltd.
Eagle Works - Pontefract

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How do you drive wearing wooden shoes?

Miniature Cars
& Scooters
No. 9

Bambino, Holland

Of Dutch manufacture, this three-wheeled carriage has bodywork of plastic construction. A bench style two-seater, of pleasing appearance, it is powered by a 200 cc engine capable of over 55 m.p.h.

Issued by
Ewbanks Ltd.
Eagle Works - Pontefract

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Voisin - Spain and France make a Microcar

Miniature Cars
& Scooters
A Series of 25
No. 10

Voisin, Franco-Spanish

This four-wheeler of French design is manufactured in Spain, at a quantity exceeding 300 per month. Motored by a 197 cc engine, it has a speed in excess of 45 m.p.h. Seating for two, luggage space and fold-down hood. (We would call it a top here in the US.)

Issued by
Ewbanks Ltd.
Eagle Works - Pontefract

Monday, May 31, 2010

Did this Phoenix Rise?

Miniature Cars & Scooters
A Series of 25
No. 12

Phoenix, Britain

This four-wheeler mini-car is of unusual shape. It is semi-panoramic, and entrance is gained by the centre section opening from the left side. Powered by a 197 cc Villiers engine has a speed of 45 m.p.h.

Issued by
Ewbanks Ltd.
Eagle Works - Pontefract