The Bruce Weiner Microcar Collection
Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013
1951 Atlas Babycar
Bruce Weiner, the undisputed king of microcars, is selling off most of the cars in his museum. That’s about 200 cars – all of them tiny, rare and really fun. There are, seemingly, about a hundred I want to feature but there’s no way will I have time – especially with all the fun in Arizona approaching in January. So, instead, every Monday (or at least, we’ll try to make it every Monday) we’ll feature about 10 cars from this one-of-a-kind collection.
First up is this 1951 Atlas Babycar. These were built in France from 1950 through 1952. It uses a 170cc single-cylinder making 8.5 horsepower (yeah, you better get ready for a lot of lawn-mower-esque power ratings). It will do 37 mph and it is one of two in the world. More info can be found here.
Update: Sold $60,375.
1951 Kover CK 1
Another car of French origin, this Kover was actually made by the same company that produced the Atlas above. While its single-cylinder engine only displaces 125cc and only puts out 5.5 horsepower, it matches the Atlas’ speed of 37 mph. Only a few were made – and good luck fitting under that convertible top. More info can be found here.
Update: Sold $28,750.
This prototype was built by Otto Daus in Hamburg, Germany in 1954. Daus was the chief engineer for Tempo, the German three-wheeled truck manufacturer. This car uses a 197cc single-cylinder making 9.5 horsepower. It can do 46 mph and was never registered for the road in Germany when it was built and it never entered production. This is the only one. And you can read more about it here.
Update: Sold $32,200.
1954 Mi-Val Tipo MO Mivalino
If this Italian Mivalino looks a lot like a Messerschmitt KR-175, that’s because, essentially, it is. Metalmeccanica Italiana Valtrompio S.p.A. – or Mi-Val for short – was an Italian motorcycle manufacturer and in late 1953 they decided to build their own version of the Messerschmitt. They imported parts from Germany and threw their own engine in it and called it an original.
About 100 were built between 1954 and 1956 and about eight survive, this being the most original and complete, having covered less than 200 kilometers in its life. It was originally owned by an Italian family who also owned the oldest Ford dealership in Rome. The engine is a 171cc single-cylinder making 9 horsepower. It’ll do 55 mph and you can read more here.
Update: Sold $83,375.
1959 Velorex Oskar 54
The three-wheeled Velorex Oskar was built in Czechoslovakia (in the city of Hradec Králové, modern-day Czech Republic). Production ran from 1954 through 1971, which is kind of a long time for a little cloth-covered car like this. The engine is a Jawa-sourced 249cc two-stroke single-cylinder making nine horsepower. Top speed is 52 mph. You can read more here.
Update: Sold $12,650.
1966 Peel Trident
The Peel Engineering Company is the only automobile manufacturer ever to be located on the Isle of Man. Unfortunately, that is still part of the U.K., so it won’t get its own section on our “Country of Origin” page. The Trident was the second car built by Peel and only about 45 were made, the last six of which used the 98cc one-cylinder engine making 6.5 horsepower. This is one of the last six built and has that engine. Horrifyingly, this car will do 46 mph. This example has spent most of its life in museums and is one of few extant. Read more here.
Update: Sold $103,500.
1957 Jurisch Motoplan
You can kind of see it, but this car was actually built around a motorcycle sidecar. It was built by Carl Jurisch of Altdorf, Germany. From 1957 through 1959, he turned out three examples: one red and two blue. This is the only one known and it has a 173cc single-cylinder making 9.5 horsepower. Top speed is 54 mph. Read more here.
Update: Sold $103,500.
1958 Zündapp Janus
So is it coming or going? Looking at the Zündapp Janus directly from the side makes it difficult to tell. The Janus was the only car Zündapp ever built, although they made plenty of motorcycles. In production for 1957 and 1958 only, 6,902 were made – a testament to the size and production capacity of Zündapp at the time. It’s one of the the muscle cars of the group featured today, making 14 horsepower from it’s 248cc single-cylinder. Top speed is 49 mph. Fun fact: the villain in the Pixar film Cars 2 is a Zündapp Janus. Only a few are left. Read more here.
Update: Sold $51,750.
1964 Lightburn Zeta Sports
I think I could best describe this car as “pointy.” It’s very odd looking and it has no doors or opening panels of any kind. Easy to build, I would guess. Produced by Lightburn & Co Ltd of Camden, Australia, the car is sometimes referred to as a Zeta Sports, with Zeta being the marque. But not today. The engine is a somewhat large 494cc two-stroke twin making 20.5 horsepower. And it will do a serious 77 mph. This car was intended to be driven on the road with power and performance like that! Just take your insane pills before trying to do it. Only 28 were built and only 6 survive. Two of them are offered in this sale, the other a coupe. Learn more here.
Update: Sold $51,750.
Here’s a weird one. Built by a Frenchman, last name Grataloup, of spare parts he found. It’s kind of well put together, with the engine essentially under the driver’s seat, but exposed on the right side of the body. It’s a single-cylinder Villiers two-stroke of 247cc making 7.5 horsepower. It’s normal sized twin front wheels help it reach 52 mph. It’s the only one ever built and they aren’t even sure when it was built. The man just showed up with it one day at Citroen garage in France. Read more here and check out more of the collection here.
Update: Sold $34,500.