Hands up those of you who can remember the ‘bubble car‘…
Extra points for anyone who has actually been in one and a few more for the drivers. For those who do remember these funny little machines, names such as Messerschmitt, Isetta (one of the most succesful of the genre) and Heinkel will not be alien. Even the humble Reliant Robin, probably most famous as Dell Boy’s company car in Only Fools & Horses at the Trotter’s Independent Trading Company, can find its roots in the Bubble Car.
Quirky, fun and economical motoring in a simple package the size of a shoebox (almost), the bubble car of the 1950’s and 1960’s would appear to be set for a comeback apparently?
BBC News: Imagine a car so narrow that two can drive next to each other in one lane; a car so small and short that three can park in one parking space. (Read more)
Bubble cars became popular because of a demand for cheap personal motorised transport in the post war years, in addition, increased fuel prices, due in part to the 1956 Suez Crisis was also a driver for popularity. Interesting that the most prevalent manufacturing nation were the Germans, the producer of that other famous motoring icon, the VW Beetle.
It’s funny how quirky (as opposed to normal) often attracts a kind of cult following, I suppose it’s something to do with the strange (but often) human need to make a statement. I suppose it’s a kind of “look at me, I’ve arrived” kind of thing. Is it not actually about how you arrive at wherever that mythical point of social acceptance may be, not simply the fact you got there? Or perhaps that’s it, you ‘arrived’ in a quirky manner so that must mean your are not an also ran, you are different, you stand out from the crowd, you are an individual and someone to be taken notice of?
Strange how this craving and desire for individuality often turns into a cold realisation that you’re just one of many. In the case of the Bubble Car; it’s not until you find other Micro Maniacs and that your vehicle has it’s very own museum, that you start to understand, perhaps you’re not actually as individual as you originally thought you were!
The same often goes for fashion in clothing, hairstyles and the ilk; how many times do you see kids bucking against school uniform, or wearing what their parents say they should wear, whilst then proceeding to wear exactly the same as their friends?
Funny old bubble world we live in?
- Bubble concept car to skim through worst crowd and congestion (greendiary.com)