Micro-mania – a big cheer for small cars

The recent (Inter)National Microcar Rally at Malvern [September 2010] in Worcestershire showed just how much enthusiasm remains for these small cars, which make up in character what they lack in cc’s.

Bubble cars of various types, a possible-record turn-out of Friskys, the absurdly-small single-seater Peel P50, the iconic Fiat 500, the sporty-looking Berkeley and the more recent Bond Bug, were among the many motoring gems on show.

What makes a microcar? The definition is generally agreed to be a car with an engine smaller than 700cc, but there is no hard-and-fast rule – and micro enthusiasts are such a welcoming bunch, nobody minded that a few of the cars at Malvern were slightly larger.

Many microcars date from the 1950s, when fuel was scarce and there was a push to make motoring affordable. As the show (organised by Nick Haddon and Ray Dilks on behalf of the Heinkel Trojan Club) proved, many are lovingly preserved and still used by nostalgic owners.

Some even drive them in competitions such as the demanding Liege-Brescia-Liege rally – a recreation of the pioneering trans-Europe microcar rally of 1958 – and the smaller scale Micro Marathon.

Are they safe? Well, few would meet modern safety standards, that’s for sure. But they tend to bring out the best in other drivers, many of whom are delighted to see more interesting vehicles on the road. We like to think drivers of “ordinary” cars will usually slow down for a micro and give it plenty of room.  Well, anything that can bring some civility to the roads has to be worth preserving.

Like what you see? Check out the official photo-gallery, and our own motoring page.

This entry was posted in Historic motor sport, Motor sport, Motoring, Transport and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Micro-mania – a big cheer for small cars

  1. ray glendinning says:

    What a cracking collection of photoes and all wrapped up in a brill publication with lots of links. Ray Glendinning rally organiser for the Micro Manics

  2. Andrew Weltch says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Ray. Another important link to mention is, of course, the link to the Micro Maniacs site: http://www.micromaniacsclub.co.uk/

  3. Terry Parkin says:

    Thanks for the great review, Andrew !
    Yourself and Corine and other overseas micro-friends are always most welcome at UK events.

    Terry and Carol

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