Sydney Allard's Allard Motor Company is much popular for manufacturing bigger cars using a variety of six cylinder engines from Jaguar
and Ford Motor
Company and massive V8's from U.S.A. manufacturers. But it was during 1954 that Allard, in collaboration with David Gottleib's company Powerdrive Ltd., came up with small number of three-wheeled microcars, bearing the model name Clipper. Only twenty units of such cars were manufactured before the project ended, and only two of them have survived so far, one in a one in a German museum and one in England.
The Clipper is equipped with a Villiers 24B 346cc single-cylinder two-stroke engine at the back, just ahead of the left-hand wheel, which it drives by chain through a Burman gearbox. During its time, the Clipper was at the forefront of technology. The bodywork was constructed of glass reinforced plastic, which was impregnated with colour throughout, mostly ivory for the roof with a choice of ivory, red, or blue for the lower part.
The Isetta was one of the most popular and successful microcars in the post-World War II years. Despite the design appearing in Italy, it was produced in various countries including Spain, Belgium, France, Brazil, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The shape of the microcar resembled an egg and the windows looked much like bubbles, and it became popular as a bubble car. The Isetta was powered by 9.5bhp two-cylinder two-stroke motorcycle engine.
In 1959, the Isettas got an engine upgrade with BMW 300 cc engines. Later BMW
made the Isetta its own. Although BMW kept the major design intact, it re-engineered much of the car. The first BMW Isetta appeared in April 1955. In May 1962, three years after the launch of BMW 700, BMW stopped manufacturing Isettas. A total of 161,728 units had been built.
Produced by ACMA (Ateliers de Constructions de Motos et Accessoires) in Fourchambault, France, the rear engine Vespa 400 is one of the cutest microcar. The company produced it from 1957 to 1961 to the designs of the Italian Piaggio company. Two different versions of the Vespa 400 were produced, "Lusso" and "Turismo".
Powered by a two cylinder, two stroke, air cooled engine, the microcar had a top speed of (83.4 km/h) and accelerated from 0-64 km/h in 23.0 seconds. The two seater car featured rooms behind the seats which could be utilised for accommodating two small children on an optional cushion or luggage.
Instrumentation was very simple on the car, consisting of speedometer and warning lights for low fuel, main beam, dynamo charging and indicators. It also had a cabriolet fabric roof that could be rolled back from the windscreen header rail to the top of the rear engine cover leaving conventional metal sides above the doors.
Austin A35 Pick up
The Austin A35 was launched at Earls Court Motor Show on the 2nd October 1956. The microcar featured a larger engine of 948 cc and the gearbox had a very impressive remote-control gear-change. Another distinguishing feature of the car was enlarged wrap-round rear window.
The A35 was available in five variants, including Saloon 2dr & 4dr Countryman, Van and Pick-up, and was known as the 5 Series. Production of the Saloons, which started in September 1956, continued till Spring 1959. The pick-ups
, though, only had a production run two years 1956/57. The van and countryman variants of the A35 continued till February 1962. Later, about 74 Countryman's were made before the model was discontinued completely.
Production of the A35 van continued, and in 1962 it was upgraded with a 1098cc engine and stronger road springs so that the carrying capacity also enhanced. The body received some upgrades, too, including a chrome strip round where the two side panels meet. The van continued until February 1968, with the option of the 848cc engine.
The REVAi, popularly known as the Reva G-Wiz i in the UK market, is an electric car manufactured by the Indian REVA Electric Car Company. The microcar was originally known as simply the REVA, but since 1998 has been named the REVAi. The 3-door car is as much as 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) long, 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in) wide and 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) high. It can accommodate two adults in the front and two children in the rear. With foldable rear seats, the car provides excellent cargo space.
The first model, which was produced from 2001 to 2007 was powered by a eight 6 V, 200 A h, lead-acid batteries located under the front seats and wired in series to create 48 V.
A new model, the REVAi, was launched in January 2008. It features an AC drive system which enhances the maximum speed to 80 km/h (50 mph). Like its previous sibling, power comes from eight 6 V, 200 A h lead-acid batteries located under the front seats.