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Cyclecar (wikipedia.org)
24 points by Hooke on March 15, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments



After the WW2, cheap commercial cars were in demand in Europe, so Italy had small pickups or vans such as Piaggio Ape or Innocenti Lambro that are based on Vespa and Lambretta scooters (which happen to be initially designed by the same guy). You can see lots of them in 50s Italian movies. Updated models are still sold or produced in India.

Later on, microcars are pretty much scooters or bikes with cabs. These days, some ultra-lightweight sports cars such as Polaris Slingshot may be registered as motorcycles due to having practically no safety features expected from a car (in the US, there's also an ‘autocycle’ option for three-wheeled vehicles).


Btw, if you look up ‘microcar’ and browse one of the dedicated websites, plenty of fun is to be had. (Image search seems to be occupied by newer models.)


Or, if you want to buy one right now: http://en.velomobiel.nl/ - both three and four wheel versions. Using it myself to cycle 60km a day to work in any type of weather with normal clothes.


I'm not sure that this is the same, if you read the wikipedia article

> A cyclecar was a type of small, lightweight and inexpensive car [..] The purpose of cyclecars was to fill a gap in the market between the motorcycle and the car.

These were motorized cars, but just small versions, as far as I can understand. The velomobiel is entirely human powered.


See also: Cyclekarts https://www.cyclekarts.com/


Thank you. I love learning about new subcultures like this.


A modern implement would be the Dutch Carver https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1029074_carver-one-tilt-...


If you are interested in vehicles with pedals that protect you from the rain but aren‘t overlooked as easily as velomobiles, look through this German forum thread:

https://www.pedelecforum.de/forum/index.php?threads/ein-rege...



There's Elio Motors with a three wheel 84 mpg 3 cylinder car. Elio Motors bought a GM plant in Louisiana and has over 60,000 orders for it. Production was supposed to start in 2018, then 2019 and now all they're saying is 'soon'.

https://www.eliomotors.com/


Nice but does not seem to be shipping yet.


Interesting. I wonder if we could get Kei Cars more common in North America if there were sufficient incentives.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kei_car


Reminds of the Messerschmitt KR200 from the 50s and 60s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_KR200


Kabinenroller is a sort of a precursor to microcars of the 70s when afaik more models started appearing, instead of straight-up cabs-on-scooters of the 40s/50s. Notably, ‘Kabinenroller’ means precisely ‘scooter with cabin’.

It was also featured as Sam Lowry's car in ‘Brazil’: https://youtube.com/watch?v=iTYUPuZGbes




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