What is a microcar?
The term ‘microcar’ means a car with an engine capacity of 700cc or less, although most range between 49cc and 300cc. The wildly recognized and “huggable” Bubblecars you will see at the museum were born in the early 1950s, a time of austerity following World War II. These cars were a drastic departure in their shape and in their door and wheel arrangements from previous models. By the end of the 50’s and through the 60s microcars were advertised as economical, fun alternatives for the younger generation, and a departure from conventional vehicles. By the end of the decade microcar popularity began to dwindle, due in part to competition from a new generation of small cars.. The ingenious engineering of the Mini Cooper brought the era of the microcar to an end. Microcars were resurrected after the 1973’s oil embargo because efficiency in transportation solutions was of the essence! Even electric microcars, a few of them in our collection, were explored as potential options to the energy crisis long before today’s Teslas!