Gallery of tiny car photos

200806230852 has a bunch of photos of lilliputian autos from the days of yore. Link


  1. I still don’t understand why mini cars didn’t take off more than they did. I know that gas wasn’t as big of a concern (in the US anyway) but I live downtown and parking is a bitch. I’d love to have a little car that I can wedge into a small space that someone created when they parallel parked poorly. If it’s under 50cc I can even park it on the sidewalk.

    Oh yeah, they still want $20,000+ for these things, never mind.

  2. they didn’t take off because they’re subconciously perceived as unsafe when in mixed traffic…

  3. The car in the photo is an Isetta.

    they didn’t take off because they’re subconciously perceived as unsafe when in mixed traffic…

    I’d love for someone to provide a rigorous examination of this “only a Canyonero SUV makes me feel safe in traffic” psychological phenomenon. Personally, I loathe driving even the newer larger “fat American” sedans. The Japanese cars of the late-80s when they were still manufactured in Japan were far more preferable to me, and I’m average-sized.

    Mostly I just feel frustrated driving behind some giant truck/SUV where I can’t see the traffic lights. But, why should I change? They’re the ones that suck!

    Can you name the car with four-wheel-drive? Smells like a steak and seats thirty-five! Canyonero! Canyonero! Well, it goes real slow with the hammer down. It’s a country-fried truck endorsed by a clown. Canyonero! Canyonero! Twelve yards long and two lanes wide, sixty-five tons of American pride! Canyonero! Canyonero! Top of the line in utility sports! Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts. Canyonero! Canyonero! She blinds everybody with her super-high beam. She a squirrel-squishin’, deer-smackin’ drivin’ machine! Canyonero! Canyonero!

  4. The Japanese cars of the late-80s when they were still manufactured in Japan were far more preferable to me, and I’m average-sized.

    I’m 6’2″ with very long legs. I discovered via both Consumer Reports and excruciating hip pain that SUVs almost universally have less leg room than cars. I rode in a Hummer once and it was uncomfortably tiny on the inside. My old Geo Prizm had far more room.

  5. Viva Canyonero!

    I miss my wife’s Ford Fesiva, and every so often I see a guy commutin silicon valley in his Corbin Sparrow.

    Smarts are starting to sell well out here. I wish for more small, less gignormous.

    and second for the MicroCar Museum. not only photos, but descriptions and names…

  6. If you’re in the Boston-ish MA, USA area, the Lars Anderson Museum of Transportation has a yearly “Micro Car” lawn event…looks like it is on July 12 this year.

    I took some pictures from the 2005 show (flickr)…it was Isetta-tastic!

  7. I just watched this Top Gear clip about a tiny car the other day. (7 mins 30; irreverent/daft)

    There’s something quite wonderful about being able to pick up the end of your car and drag it behind you into your office. Although, when Dermot Murnaghan picks up the rear end of the car with Jeremy Clarkson still in it, turns him 180 degrees and leaves him facing the wrong way in traffic, you might see its portability in a different light!

  8. @#2 – Weird – I just found out about that guys museum and had never heard of it. I live in Atlanta and will definitely visit it…when it’s actually open (closed all summer, then only open 12 hours a week).

  9. what about the little girl in the backseat? she looks like she could use some water. and maybe some oxygen. c’mon…let her outta there!

  10. that’s not a little girl; it’s an alien [looks like a grey] and that is its spaceship. the “humans” in the foreground are just decoys…

  11. I’ve driven a few of those, and ridden in a few more, and it can be intimidating on a regular road with other traffic. I’ve owned and driven the Classic Minis for over thirty years, and they’re only ten feet long, so parking was a breeze. I actually went smaller, and now have a Bond Bug, a tiny, orange, three-wheeled two-seater, from 1972 – very spacey looking.

  12. Someone needs a hyphen.

    I was fully expecting tiny photos of full-sized cars. Very disappointed.


  13. always prefered the Messerschmidtt micro car, two people in line.

    I have a design for a similar idea using a shaft drive bike engine which would work.

  14. They “took off” in Europe because after the War materials were in short supply, the economy was crap and the cost of a “real” car like a VW Beetle was outside the price range of average folks.
    Also- everyone lived much closer to work and their families so Scooters worked just fine.
    Most all of these cars descended from Scooters, they are enclosed scooters or “Kabinenrollers”.
    While some were originally exported to the USA for sale, they did not sell very well because our economy was not so bad off and scooters were definitely not part of our automotive culture.
    The introduction of the MINI is what killed off the “Microcar” as it was a “proper miniature car” that was affordable.
    There are lots of enthusiasts of these these things in the US and they get together for meets and shows, you can check The Vintage Microcar Club’s Meets page to see if there is something happening near you:
    I personally drive a Zündapp Janus, which is like the Isetta, but with a door at BOTH the front AND the back.

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