The Microcars Class
The fine art of …
The Microcar Class
Presenting something radically different, yet delightful, is the objective of the 2009 1st Generation Microcar Class. Microcars are described by one dictionary as “uncommonly small automobiles”. They were popularly referred to as cyclecars in the 1910’s and ‘20’s and “bubblecars” in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. Older ones were often designed with only three wheels.
Many microcar designs flourished in the post-world war II era, particularly in Germany, where prominent microcar makers were former military aircraft manufacturers such as Messerschmitt. Notice the aircraft-style bubble canopies on the Messerschmitt in the Concours. It was this design that gave rise to the bubble car nickname. Isettas, popular and well known to Americans, also had the bubble-like appearance.
The popularity of imported and domestically produced microcars emerged in the U. S. during the late 1940s and 1950s. Marque’s like the Crosley, Eshelman and Playboy; and the American Austin produced in the 1930s, and presented today are well known to hobbyists of the American built microcars. Many first generation microcars were also powered by electric motors.
The microcar was likely never an automobile the Weeks family would have parked in their garages. However, the contrast to the elegance and prestige of the Classic automobiles and the current interest in economy and fun autos makes these microcars a welcome addition to this year’s Concours.
With the resurgence of interest in modern microcars, such as the new Smart Car, it is interesting to note how history often repeats itself.
Winner was Peter Mond #MI 05 - 1904 Gobron Deux Banquette