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This Week's Meaningless Topic (#50) (Aug 21)


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Hi all. I saw a Smart Car the other day--a real micro-vehicle. It made me think of other small cars that caught the public's fancy in their day. That musing leads to this week's topic. 

 

THIS WEEK'S MEANINGLESS TOPIC: Which of the following cars have you owned or driven? (Special medal to those who owned a Trabant).

 

image.jpeg.46d1c9f514ec89436b5ac5c7ba0bdcd6.jpeg  image.jpeg.67bd246fa7f0719cae3a46e56c2ff493.jpeg

Citroen 2CV                                                    Volkswagon Beetle

 

image.jpeg.e471e3cb98afea7a7e619b98f74e5c03.jpeg  Old Italian Small Cars At Fiat 500 Day Of Forlimpopoli, Rally Of Vintage  Economy Car Fiat 500, On April 1, 2012 In Mercato Saraceno (FC) Italy Stock  Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 13626770.

Nash Rambler                                                          Fiat 500

 

  Crosley – Barn Finds       MetalWorks Classic Auto & Speed Shop - 1937 Willys coupe restoration -  MetalWorks Classic Auto Restoration & Speed Shop                                                                 

Crosley                                                                     Willys

 

 

image.jpeg.9fa4b694afe145bc5f5bdc76cc12d8df.jpeg  1955 - 1962 BMW Isetta | Top Speed

Messerschmitt KR200                                   BMW Isetta

 

 

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I wish I had a picture. When we were first married both my wife and I worked. On the opposite sides of town. It soon became obvious that a second car was going to be needed. We didn't have much money so I went looking for something I could get on the cheap. And I found it the first day. A 1952 split-window Volkswagen Beetle. What a car. No gas gauge, 25 H.P., headlights that let you see at least 50 feet down the road, and a gearbox that you could, with a little practice, shift without the clutch. I loved that car. It served me well for a little over three years before I traded it in for a brand-spanking new 1967 Bug. And as I look back now, I liked the old one better.

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3 hours ago, Rodger Pettichord said:

This one's just for you, John :)

 

190 Vintage automobiles ideas in 2021 | antique cars, vintage cars, classic  cars

This was one of the first car's I drove :

 

Car.PNG.7aeca5476257498f977d51d9946032f5.PNG

 

I had a ton of headroom and legroom plus it was a manual shift , so it worked great heading to Mt.Spokane to ski .

 

Cheers

John

 

 

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I've had two VW Beetles, A 1962 bought used in 1969, and a 1972 bought new (thanks to the parents).  The '62 had a canvas sunroof, which leaked.  But it was real handy on an especially cold evening in Albany, NY.  I was visiting a friend at the University just before reporting to the Naval Base in Newport, RI.  We wanted to attend a concert (can't remember who or what), but it was too cold to walk very far.  The parking lot of course was full, except there was a very narrow space in which the car would fit, but did not allow for opening a door. The jerk on the right was taking up two spaces. So I let my companion out, pulled into the space, and climbed out through the sunroof.

 

And yes, Gumby, $2.00 could run it for a week or more.

 

My wife had a Rambler, but later than the one shown (A '72, I think) when we got married.  Probably the worst car we ever owned.

 

Ken

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13 minutes ago, John York said:

The smallest Sheila and I ever had was a Morris Mini.  It was surprisingly big for us in the front seats.  But then again, we are only small people.^-^

This is no word of a lie. My father bought

the first Mini Minor in Launceston. I've only heard

the story about 200 times. He's now 83 driving a 

V6 Commodore.:)

cheers

Gumby

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I was driving in a Beetle as well. I always remember its winter performance: The ventilation was bad, so the windscreen used to ice from the outside AND inside. The advantage of that car was the plain screen: You could use a scratcher to improve de-icing. On the other hand, having the motor in the back combined with rear-wheel-drive made slippery roads quite challenging.

The smallest car I ever sat in was an orange Fiat 500. Luckily enough it had a big removable roof, so you could even strech you back and arms.

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I bought this in Germany in 1971, it looks like I was good with a paintbrush then, it was yellow when I found it.

I drove it back home, before the days of roll on roll off services to Hull. £15 for me and £15 for the car on the ship.

 

Then it got repainted again and reregistered before finally succumbing to the rust weevils.

 

Beetle.jpg

 

 

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22 hours ago, Rodger Pettichord said:

image.jpeg.9fa4b694afe145bc5f5bdc76cc12d8df.jpeg  1955 - 1962 BMW Isetta | Top Speed

Messerschmitt KR200                                   BMW Isetta

OMG what is this? :lol:

First time in life I see these

Edited by carlosqr
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It looks like your paint job came out better that mine Nick. When I decided to sell the old '52 I thought some fresh paint would get a higher price and make for a quicker sale. Back then there was a chain of paint shops owned by a guy name Earl Scheib. One of the crazy things he did (there were several of them) that made him a legend in California in the 1960's was his TV ad which proclaimed "...I'll paint any car any color for $99". So...I dropped my car off on my way to work one Wednesday morning and went back to pick it up in the afternoon. I told them to paint it white. And they did. The whole car. Including the tires, bumpers, and windows. When I expressed a bit of shock they told me that if I wanted the car to masked-off so as to only paint the body parts I should have told them as it costs extra to cover up the "other stuff". I got them to scrape the paint off the windows (sort of) so I could drive it home and then spent a week in my spare time cleaning up the mess. Lesson learned.

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1 hour ago, carlosqr said:

OMG what is this? :lol:

First time in life I see these

Messerschmitt KR. KR means Kabinenroller, cabin roller. After WW2 the company Messerschmitt changed their portfolio a bit and tried to get into road mobility, with no long success.

The Isetta had its door in the front. Or better, the front WAS the door. No real protection against crashes...

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My brother and I went halves in a Renault 12. I think it was a 1975 model. It was bright orange in colour. We never serviced it or changed the oil. It never let us down. As a kid our first family car was a 1963 Ford Cortina which my dad painted by hand with a paint brush. Ahhh memories

Cheers

Graeme :)

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6 hours ago, boetie said:

My brother and I went halves in a Renault 12. I think it was a 1975 model. It was bright orange in colour. We never serviced it or changed the oil. It never let us down. As a kid our first family car was a 1963 Ford Cortina which my dad painted by hand with a paint brush. Ahhh memories

Cheers

Graeme :)

Graeme, memories indeed. My dad bought a junk  '39 Willys from a farmer. The floor was rusted through and squirrels had built nests in the headlights. The farmer, however, had put a '49 Jeep motor and transmission in it, so it ran okay. Dad got out the house paint and painted it to match our tan and white house. The Willys/house color combination got plenty of comment in our small town.

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No experience in any of those vehicles except that my Mother, my sister and a few of my friends all had VW Bugs of some sort or another so I have lots of passenger time in them. Never owned one or drove one though. I DO remember as a kid, riding all the way in the little cubby in the back, behind the back seat. Basically, that cubby was a bucket, and not very comfortable, and also loud as it was right next to the engine. 

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33 minutes ago, Sniper31 said:

No experience in any of those vehicles except that my Mother, my sister and a few of my friends all had VW Bugs of some sort or another so I have lots of passenger time in them. Never owned one or drove one though. I DO remember as a kid, riding all the way in the little cubby in the back, behind the back seat. Basically, that cubby was a bucket, and not very comfortable, and also loud as it was right next to the engine. 

I always thought that they were a fun car to drive.  Of course they were under powered, especially the earlier models.  The cubby behind the back seat was great, considering that space in the trunk (which was in the front) was somewhat limited.  I guess in the days before seat belts and passive restraints it was a good place to park a little kid.

 

Two VW stories:

 

1. College.  I went to a college located on the east side of the Hudson River, in Poughkeepsie, NY.  I was involved in the sailing program (Commodore of the sailing club and Captain of the intercollegiate sailing team). To drive from the main campus to the boat house meant driving down a very steep, very curvy, narrow road.  One icy winter day I tried this in my '62 VW.  Of course the car wanted to go heaviest end first, and since the engine is in the back, I ended up going down backwards. Made it OK, but a harrowing experience.

 

2.  Reserve Duty. For some years I lived on Long Island, but belonged to a Naval Reserve unit that drilled on Jamestown Island in Rhode Island.  I almost always took the ferry across Long Island Sound.  This one very cold winter evening I started the '72 VW at the drill site, and the generator light came on!  Now I was taking the ferry from New London to Orient, the only cross-sound ferry that ran in the winter.  Orient is on the far east end of the North Fork of L.I.  in those days it was sparsely populated at best, and deserted during the winter.  This was long before cell phones.  In short, if the car died on the way, I might too.  So I called my fiancee (from a PAY phone- remember those). I figured that if I got the car onto the ferry, the crew would push it off.  So she drove all the way out to Orient to either pick me up, or as it turned out, escort me home  (about 80 miles).

 

After that, she still married me; we're happily married still, and have a good laugh when we think about it.

 

There was another time when the accelerator cable broke.  I jury rigged a wire from the engine to the driver's side window, so I had a hand throttle.  VWs encouraged innovation.

 

To quote a Navy recruiting slogan, " it's not a job, it's an adventure. "

 

Ken

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