During the middle of the twentieth century, a plethora of small economy cars – often quirky and bizarre – emerged to meet the needs of the cash-strapped motorist. This book charts the history and development of these microcars, from the lean period after the Second World War right up to the present day. Covering a wide range of vehicles, from the well-known models to the more obscure, and complemented throughout by colour photographs and period images, this a fascinating book on a little-known subject.
After the Second World War Europe was in economic crisis and manufacturing lay in ruins. Materials were in short supply, and factories were forbidden from building aircraft. There was a need for cheap, economical transport, but acquiring a new car was difficult, and secondhand cars were not as readily available as they are today.
By the 1950s, a myriad of economy cars had appeared on the market to fill this vacuum. Former aircraft companies – and even a refrigerator manufacturer – turned their hand to producing tiny cars that were often quirky and eccentric. Many of these little cars earned the nickname ‘bubblecars' due to their bulbous shape.
The 1960s brought with it new levels of affluence, and these microcars almost faded from view. But today, they are enjoying a resurgence of popularity, with many becoming highly-prized collectors items. Increased traffic levels and fuel prices, and a greater awareness of environmental issues, have also created demand for a new generation of microcars, and car makers have responded accordingly with exciting new designs.
Illustrated with over 70 colour photographs, this book celebrates the best of these weird and wonderful motoring marvels.
About the author
Adam Quellin grew up in East Anglia and served a three year apprenticeship as a motor mechanic.
Since then, he has worked in several different areas, such as voluntary, teaching and with the disabled. Classic cars have always been Adam’s passion, especially microcars, and he is currently in the process of restoring two examples – a Messerschmitt and a Scootacar. Adam is a member of several car clubs and regularly contributes to the club magazines. He has also written Microcars at Large! published by Veloce. Adam lives in Coventry with his wife, Carol.