Chuck Squatriglia of Wired
went to Atlanta to visit the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum, which holds the world's largest collection of microcars.
The 15 years after World War II marked the golden era of the microcar, and the "bubble cars" of that time comprise the bulk of Weiner's collection. Their designs are as varied as the countries that produced them, from the egg-shaped Avolette Record and voluptuous Champion H2 to the elegant Berkeley T65 sports car and bizarre Zundapp Janus with doors at each end. The most famous of the post-war microcars are the BMW Isetta that opens like a refrigerator and Messerschmitt KR-200 built by the same company that produced German warplanes.
Most post-war microcars were less than 10 feet long and weighed no more than 1,000 pounds. Their diminutive dimensions and tiny engines - most no larger than those found in Vespa scooters - made them highly fuel efficient. The Messerschmitt KR-200, for example, got 87 mpg.
There's no way GM or Volkswagen are going to start cranking out a car like the Messerschmitt because there's no way people are going to commute alongside SUVs in a car that's 10 feet long and weighs 507 pounds. But with consumers increasingly demanding more fuel efficient cars and Congress mandating that such vehicles be built, the microcar ethos - small car + small engine = less gas consumption - increasingly is influencing automotive design.
Previously on Boing Boing:
• Microcar and Minicar Club annual meet photos
• Little car kits from Japan
• Tiny car from 1964: the Peel P50
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
Today a future without schools. Instead of gathering students into a room and teaching them, everybody learns on their own time, on tablets and guided by artificial intelligence. Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon | RedditIn this episode we talk to a computer scientist who developed an artificially […]
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
To be a Pokémon master, you’ll need a phone that won’t constantly die on you. Because nothing is worse than seeing the screen go black right as you’ve finally found the Charizard of your dreams.That’s why we’re so excited about the LinearFlux PokeCharger Portable Battery ($39.99). With its 3.0 Amp HyperCharging technology, this slim battery will […]
The tech industry is constantly innovating, and in order to stay competitive, you’ll need to keep up. The Programming Into the Future Bundle was created to teach you the skills employers are looking for at this very moment, including in-demand coding languages like Google Go.The bundle of courses includes instruction on a range of innovative tools that advanced coders […]
If you’re running low on MacBook storage, your options are pretty limited. External hard drives mean toting around another piece of bulky equipment, and you probably don’t want a USB stick constantly protruding from your laptop.That’s why the Nifty MiniDrive for MacBooks is such a desirable alternative, and one of our top tech finds this year. You can add […]