Awesome Bubble Cars and the Mini That Took Over
By Doris Molenaar
Is it just me who always wonders why they don’t remake certain cars anymore? My most recent obsession with cars I think they should remake are the bubble cars of the 50s.
Bubble cars were small economical cars became popular in Europe because of high fuel prices. These microcars had a bubble-like appearance and they are just so cool! (and funny-looking).
Most bubble cars were manufactured in Germany, including by the former German military aircraft manufacturer, Messerschmitt. They made the Messerschmitt Kabinenroller KR 200 you can see in the picture below.
I imagine you can only be delighted seeing these little automobiles and wonder how on Earth production of these toy cars for grown-ups ever stopped? Well, the demise of the bubble car is often credited with the rise of the Mini. The Mini was a bit larger, and I must (reluctantly) admit, a bit more functional.
Fortunately the Mini is pretty cool too, so I can live with the fact that they’re responsible for the downfall of the bubbles. The Austin Mini Cooper's design, based on a front-wheel drive, longitudinally-mounted 4-cylinder engine, was well ahead of its time. For a car so small, it was extremely spacious on the inside and easily fit four adults.
But not only were the functionality and compactness of the car great, in combination with the Cooper Company the Mini became victorious on the racing tracks as well.
On the next episode of Renaissance Man you will learn everything about the past, present and future of the Mini. Don’t miss it: Monday at 9pm, only on Velocity!
Photo Credit: Car Culture/Corbis (mini), Uwe Zucchi/dpa/corbis (Isetta), Stefan Sauer/dpa/corbis (Messerschmitt)