Norso or Norsjö (1960 - 1979); Norsjo AB; Forshaga; Sweden. Does that name make you shudder with recognition?
Dwarf cars and other small bantering - including box moths - are currently highly topical
Of course we had already noticed that trend and in the Auto Motor Klassiek that you can buy in the newsstand soon - or just finally take that very cheap subscription! - we will pay attention to that. Did you know that there has even been a Dutch dwarf car manufacturer?
Mobility scooters are designed and built in many countries inside and outside Europe; most in Germany, England, Spain and France.
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.
Only a few, tens or hundreds have been made of many more
A part of the micro cars had its origins in the war. After the war, quite a lot of ex-soldiers had come out of the battle so badly battered that they could not get far on their own. That is why part of the dwarf car history has nothing more or less than the transportation of disabled people as its origin.
The Zündapp Janus is much less known
The dwarf car era did not last long. After WWII, the economy started so quickly that a second- or third-hand Kadett or Beetle was for sale for less than the price of a new 'dwarf car', bubble car, scooter or micro car. And then you and the whole family drove a Real Car. The neighbors were green with envy.
Those dwarf cars quickly disappeared from the traffic scene - represented by the Dutch and Belgian dwarf car clubs: https://fehac.nl/nederlandse-dwergauto-club en https://www.dwergauto.be are currently taking a growing interest. After all, they have been of historical importance and have often been conceived and made by rather free spirits. That the most wonderful monsters often emerged in that process of creation? Oh well: you were dry and didn't have to pedal.
Wanted by museums
The historical recognition of this type of vehicle was recently made very clear when a foreign museum bought no less than 24 dwarf cars 'in all shapes and sizes' from Potomac Classics in one purchase. In our opinion, this included one of the ugliest things ever made: the Norsӧ Partner. From Sweden.
Norsjö Shopper / Norsjö Partner / Forshaga Shopper
That was a three-wheeled vehicle with a tiny bit of bodywork to protect the driver against rain or snow. The production of the vehicle started in 1961. The thing is made by Norsjö Mekaniksa Verkstads AB in Forshaga, Sweden. The body was designed by one Carleric Jöranson and was largely made of steel and attached to a tubular chassis.
The strange canopy was made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic
The rest of the bodywork also had a unique design. Shoppers previously had Husqvarna engines that were later replaced by Sachs cans. The Partner was operated with a steering wheel and car-like clutch pedals. But there were disc brakes on board! To start the engine, a lever or rope had to be pulled just like a lawn mower. The entire vehicle only weighed 74kg!