Archive for the ‘story’ Category

Jim Garbo featured in Daily Herald article

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Jim Garbo’s 1955 Messerschmitt KR200 that has been in his family since 1959.

Jim Garbo, club member from Franksville WI, was featured in a nice article in the Chicago Daily Herald.
His 1955 Messerschmitt KR200 was recently part of the Barrington Concours d’Elegance.
Read the article: CLICK HERE

Isetta breaks down on Route 66 – again?

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Day 2 of Microcars on Route 66.  Caption for the pic says Isetta broke down again in Desert.
AGAIN? So it broke down earlier?  What specifically is wrong?
Oh well at least Greg (Isetta owner) will get to ride in a nice A/C equipped truck while they go through the desert.
You can follow them on their Facebook page HERE, or check back on this blog to see a daily recap.

Profile of John Hollowell and Goggomobil

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

John Hollowell of Ann Arbor Michigan with his Goggomobil TS400

Nice profile piece from AnnArbor.com about Microcar collector and enthusiast John Hollowell.

Even nicer is that they spelled GOGGOMOBIL correctly!
Link to article HERE
Link to John’s website: ISETTAGARAGE.COM (where Goggomobil is NOT spelled correctly! *sigh*…)

Profile of Dave Raab from Tustin CA

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

From the Orange County Register, this really nicely done profile piece about Dave Raab,
Microcar Enthusiast and Collector from Tustin California.
There is an ad at the beginning of the video, but the video is worth it.
There is a print story that accompanies this, read that HERE.
Make sure you read down to the first comment, it is hilarious!

Another “World’s Smallest Car” attempt

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

This amazing one-off creation by Perry Watkins of the UK takes a quad bike and some sort of toy version of Postman Pat’s Van and makes a driveable vehicle that Perry can barely fit into. Watching it on the road is just hilarious.

Perry says “Watch out Peel P50” as he thinks it should now qualify as “World’s Smallest Car” but I am pretty sure the Guiness Book of World Records classifies the P50 as “world’s smallest *Production* Car. Also, I think the thing has to be able to be registered and licensed for road use. None the less, it is an impressive achievement, it is about HALF the size of a Peel P50!

note: sometimes this video will not work for people viewing OUTSIDE the UK. sorry, don’t complain here, it is the BBC…

Microcars at the 2009 NY Auto Show!

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

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Well, we’re here.

The Largest Auto Show in the United States and we are right inside the main entrance.
We have a 1962 Messerschmitt Kr200 from Gary Sonnenschein, a 1965 Peel P50 from The Lane Motor Musuem, a 1956 BMW Isetta from Jim Janecek and a 1958 Vespa 400 from Larry Newberry.
The above photo was taken before people started coming in, later it looks like this, only more crowded:

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The exhibit is just mobbed with people constantly.
This time the 2 most annoying questions are:
“Are these street Legal” and
“How much is that?” (referring to the Peel)
Earlier in the day we were asked to participate in the Opening Day Ceremonies which involved a PR stunt.
The NY Auto Show opens with a PR stunt of some sort so that the local news shows up to cover it. This year they had a “Strongman Competition” where they were pulling a “train” of 10 KIA Soul cars.

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As a gag, they brought out a Microcar at the last minute and had it compete against a couple other Auto Show staff who actually tried to pull just one car. How many Union Carpenters and Decorators do you think it takes to push a Peel P50 into place and then hide it under some black fabric?

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The Peel P50 was surprisingly easy to pull for some reason. 

Here is a behind the scenes video of the prep involved for Opening Day Ceremonies (2 minutes)

 

GM’s answer to the Isetta; The CADET

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Peter Brock, who is known for designing the original Split Window Corvette that later became the StingRay is not so well known for designing a Microcar for GM as a competitor to the BMW Isetta.

At 19, he was the youngest designer ever hired by GM Styling but he thought GM was missing something in their lineup;  A small car.  At the time GM had nothing and Brock thought there was a market for “young guys like me” who were going to school and could not afford big cars.  His ideas intrigued Harley Earle enough that Earle started a project to address the “student market” and assigned Brock to head it.

The result was the GM CADET.

The story behind this is documented on Brock’s website with this one paragraph in particular that really speaks volumes about the attitude of the day:

Earle was so excited about the Cadet he planned to showcase the car to all of GMs upper level executives and dealers at Styling’s annual internal VIP car show.  At the show’s end, after attendees had survived hours of blinding chrome on the new 1958 GM line-up, the lights went low as other cars were cleared away, and then they came back up on this beautiful little jewel of a $1000 car, slowly spinning on a turntable… the Cadet.  The audience fell silent.  It was about a third the size of anything they’d seen all day. No one knew what to say… they sat in stunned silence!  The only chrome on it resided on slender door handles.  After a few moments, the president of GM, Harlow Curtice, stood and formally announced: “GM doesn’t make small cars”.  The lights went out and the car was never mentioned again.

Read the full story at Brock Racing Enterprises.

thanks to Rob Maselko for the heads up on this…

Local Teen Rescues Microcar!

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

 

photo: Jim Parker, The Post and Courier

photo: Jim Parker, The Post and Courier

Club Member Connor McCann from SC recently made the hometown news in an article about his rescue of a BMW Isetta.   The article appears in the online edition of the SC Post & Courier’s CHARLESTON.NET

It is a nice little general interest piece, unfortunately “rescuing” the Isetta was a bit more involved and colorful than the story makes it out to be.  Connor’s own version is much more exciting, involving Surveillance Cameras, Drug Addiction and JAIL!
(all part of the previous owner…not Connor).  
I guess that is not what people want to read about in the Charleston SC newspapers… who knew?

Of course I can’t get Connor to let me reprint his version of the story here either. So….

Read the Charleston Article Here

The Current Economic Situation described… With Microcars

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

 In another world; Microcar Collectors and Enthusiasts have their own community.

Like Airplane Enthusiasts that can be part of a community that has a Runway as the main drag so you can park your Plane in the garage, taxi out and take off, the Microcar Community has homes with Garages as the centerpiece of the house and sleeping quarters upstairs or out back.

Vehicles that can exceed 55 mph are banned and tickets are regularly given out for vehicles that are not going slow enough or emitting enough blue smoke.

 

Every home has a microcar enthusiast in it.  They may own a microcar, they may own several or they may WANT to own one.  Many have tools to work on their cars, some have no tools or no mechanical expertise to do so.

But the neighborhood is friendly and what good is a friend if you cannot borrow their tools?

So a great swap goes on continuously, the same tools are loaned out to neighbors again and again, no one has to own every single special tool needed, they can just go next door or down the block and BORROW it.  As long as it is returned in a reasonable period of time, everything works out well. (more…)


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