Dwarf cars. A new beginning after WWII

Dwarf cars
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Dwarf cars. That actually doesn't sound good. The name will therefore not have been devised by a team of marketeers. But 'dwarf cars' are small. That is obvious. They are becoming very popular outside the Netherlands. But that is because the Netherlands is lagging behind trends. Dutch classics, for example, are still cheaper than their relatives in various foreign countries. We know a few classic specialists who depend on foreign sales for 75%.

In all fairness: the classic specialist who sold forty cars in one go last month to a Russian who had decided to start a car museum between a bite of caviar and a sip of vodka is an exception. And the man who decided a week before the D-Day celebration in Normandy that he wanted to be there with a BMW "Wehrmachtsenspann" was that too. He tapped 220.000 euros to buy one quickly.

Dwarf cars so

Today, the smallest cars are designed for the busiest cities. In the past, the smallest cars were made for people with the narrowest portfolios. After the Second World War, owning a motorcycle was a luxury. People like the local notary and the vet drove the motor. Owning a car was a dream at the time. A car was an indisputable status object. And you were dry in it. So there was a market for cheap cars. The required small prices resulted in small, very small, cars.

Because there was little initial capital, these 'volkswagens' had to be technically simple and cheap to make. Thereby heavy use was made of motorcycle parts and technology. Small two-stroke engines and chain drive. And something of shelter, you know what: we are doing it smoothly. The various promotions usually resulted in friendly simmering free-range animals with styling that is often at its best.

No matter how small they were, the differences were huge

And even the "small" is relatively relative and subjective. At the Dutch DWergAutoClub DWAC it is clear what they are talking about, namely historic motorized 3 and 4 wheeled vehicles with an engine capacity of up to 600 cc. And the "historic" is described as "vehicles whose production was discontinued before 1970."

Most of these cars were built in the fifties of the last century and were then called "mobility scooter", "bubble car" (especially the ones with large curved windows) and also simply "small car".

Only a few models of dwarf cars were built in large numbers (more than 100.000 units) such as the Messerschmitt, the Goggomobil and the BMW Isetta. Tens or hundreds have been made of many more. But in the miniature car country 'Rovin' is also a brand that tickles greed.

Many manufacturers, little production

By far the majority of the more than 1500 models from 500 manufacturers are only 1 or built several times. They are designed and built in many countries inside and outside Europe; most in Germany, England, Spain and France. But also in the Netherlands. And we will come back to that AutoMotorKlassiek, the magazine you have wanted to subscribe to for so long.


Only a very small percentage of these resurrection cars after WWII survived the test of time and the survivors are now cherished by all kinds of people inside and outside of a club. At the DWAC, for example, these are 800 miniature cars, of which 150 are roadworthy; restoration activities or plans exist for all those others. Those dwarfs are owned by such 200 owners. They are more than 100 different models, made by such 60 different manufacturers. There are some unique ones.

Dwarf cars

Dwarf cars

Dwarf cars

Dwarf cars



Give a reaction
    • My brother had a small car at the beginning of 50 for years, which looks a lot like the one shown, the brand was Julien, an 4 stroke 350 cc Triumphengine I suspect a French manufacture, mounted in the back (I was very young) the body was made of wood and covered with leather cloth (an old-fashioned version of Skai cloth) as was used at Loyd I have never seen him again except once on a American site for narrow cars.

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