6 June 2019 – The micro car by David Wherrell

Messerschmitt KR200

David began by describing the parallel universe of cars. ‘Ordinary cars’ had four wheels, usually designed with the family in mind to travel in comfort. While the Micro cars were usually powered by cycle engines and had three wheels. Cost wise they represented minimalist motoring.  In fact, some early cycle cars were pedal powered!  One even invited passengers to join in on the pedals!

Numerous small car models were described like the three wheeled Morgan from 1909 followed by improvements in 1925 of the Morgan Aero and then in 1949, the F-Super. Dozens more cars like the Reliant, the Bond Minicar, 1953-1968, the Berkeley, manufactured in Biggleswade from 1956 to 1960 were described.  From 1953 to 1964 Messerschmitt made the famous KR200 three wheeler powered by a 200cc 2-stroke engine. A total of 30,286 were built!

In 1953 the Italian designed Isetta arrived on the market. Eventually, in 1955 BMW acquired the license to build them.. This popular model bosted a 300cc 4-stroke engine. Originally a four wheeler, it was changed to three wheels to benefit from lower road tax in Great Britain. A British version was produced in Brighton from 1957 till 1964.

Numerous other small cars were discussed finally arriving at the present time when it was revealed micros were still being produced in France, including the Daimler Smart car. In India, the Tata Nano which was well designed but not manufactured to a high enough standard to become popular

David pointed out that there are many car clubs in the country where members can find like minded enthusiasts who hold rallies where members can meet other owners and perhaps buy spare parts or get technical help.

1950s- BMW ISETTA 300