Enthusiast Essentials: have a good read of the history of microcars

4 November, 2015

Microcars at Large by Adam Quellin, examines a period in motoring history following World War II when raw materials were in short supply and many simply couldn’t afford a full-sized car. With war-ravaged economies suffering, automakers turned their hand to building basic transportation.  The result was a series of what are now known as microcars or, in some instances, ‘bubblecars’. Even manufacturers such as BMW cashed in on the trend, Messerschmitt got in on the act, and British firms such as Reliant and Bond came up with their own quirky designs.

This lavishly illustrated guide covers the weird and wonderful world of microcars, from the basic bubblecars of the ’50s to the sophisticated modern models.

Microcars at Large is available now as a full-colour eBook, as well as a black-and-white e-ink version. For more information, visit veloce.co.uk

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.