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Dwarf cars are hot!

Dwarf cars
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Dwarf cars are very small. They also date from the time that the average European was about an 10 cm smaller than he is now. Not to mention his weight and waist size. We have been reporting on this recently.

Miniature cars are hot

Especially with this weather. But still: In spite of all their limitations, these endearing free-range workers have been at the basis of the post-war motor resurrection. And they now get their recognition. You can see that not only in the market, where the rare survivors have been traded for a while for prices that have nothing left of dwarf-like. There is now even a miniature car exhibition in the famous Louwman Museum.


A nice selection of miniature cars

From 5 July to 1 September, the Louwman Museum in The Hague offers a fascinating and colorful overview of dwarf cars from the fifties. After World War II, numerous, often small, manufacturers responded to the need for cheap and weather-resistant transport. The surprising result was the dwarf car.

Miniature cars (also called microcar, bubble car or Kabinenroller) are compact tricycles or quadricycles, equipped with a single or two-cylinder engine with a limited capacity. The lighter and cheaper the car, the better. Some bodies were formed by a wooden frame, only spanned with artificial leather cloth or with nailed aluminum plate parts.

The regularly emerging Jawa Velorex tricycles are excellent examples of this. Experiments were also being carried out with plastic bodies. The design was very diverse and sometimes extremely remarkable. All sorts of safety aspects were hardly taken into account. In a dwarf car, the occupants were simply the crumple zone.

Known from Top Gear

The figurehead of the exhibition is the Peel P50 from 1962. The smallest production car in the world was built on the Isle of Man and is only 132 cm long, 99 cm wide and 120 cm high. The car weighs 59 kilo and is powered by a DKW moped motorcycle from 49cc. The top speed is 61 km per hour. We know the monster from an episode of Top Gear 1.0, with the unsurpassed Jeremy Clarkson. The Peel shown at the exhibition is the first produced car of a total of 47 pieces. And that type of production numbers is characteristic of many dwarf car manufacturers.

An era passed

The era in which motorcycles in particular determined the street scene in Europe was finally closed with the arrival of the dwarf car. After a short flowering period, the dwarf cars quickly made way for successful post-war cars such as the DAF, Mini, 2CV and the Beetle. The dwarf car still has a large number of enthusiasts and now has a cult status.

And they are rare. Because soon after the market for 'Real Cars' evolved, the little ones were seen as a reminder of poorer times and their riders as people who had not found a connection with the financial rebirth after World War II.

Few survivors. Or not?

A lot of dwarf cars came to an end at the time. But an apparently not insignificant part survived - often violated, tired and worn out - their end. And that came again ... Because they were so small. A deceased dwarf car was not easily in the way.

So take a look at your back in the barn.

The dwarf cars from the exhibition have been made available by the PS Speicher museum
from Einbeck (D) and some private collectors.

In this weather, the miniature cars are most reminiscent of microwave ovens ...

Dwarf cars
A crumple zone of three meters
Dwarf cars
And that is the Velorex with his jacket on

3 Comments

Give a reaction
  1. Is a handy sized car. May be revivals in the current environmental time. If only he has an electric motor. And I have to fit in with my 1,96m in particular? And can drive 60000 km p year

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