Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | September 20, 2020
I credited Bonhams on the above photo, but I doubt they want to be associated with such terrible photography. This little blue blob was produced by Cico S.A. of France to take advantage of France’s sans permis laws enacted in the 1970s in response to the fuel crisis.
Basically, they were small, sub-50cc cars that could be driven without registration or a license. They had to hold two people and not have a top speed in excess of 45 kph. You just had to be 14 in order to drive it on the road.
These go by different names. Bonhams lists this as a “Matic 50” and elsewhere you’ll find it called an LCS. Power is from a 49.9cc (just under the law) two-stroke single from Motobecane that makes 3.2 horsepower. They were produced between 1971 and 1983, and the top speed was right at the legal max: just under 28 mph. This one is estimated to sell for between $1,300-$3,900, and if the reserve is even the lower end of that estimate, it will be a stretch for this car to sell. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | July 10, 2020
History lesson: the Fuldamobil was a microcar built in Fulda, Germany, originally by Elektromaschinenbau Fulda and later by a company whose initials were NWF. The first Fuldamobils went on sale in 1950. Fulda didn’t have the capacity to build that many cars, so they contracted with NWF in 1954 to build them.
NWF built the smaller-engined cars, including some under their own name, while Fulda introduced better versions of theirs. The Fulda S7 debuted in 1957 in Sweden as the Fram-King Fulda, which was built there under license. Power should be from something approximating a 191cc single making just shy of 10 horsepower.
The Fram-King Fulda was built for a short time… until the factory burned down. Production resumed in 1958/1959, and the cars were then sold as the King S-7. So either this car is actually earlier than it is registered as, or it’s really a King (FKF is what many Fuldamobils are known as). Either way, they’re the same car. Click here for more info on this one.
Update: Sold $11,566.
1968 Alta A200
Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | July 10, 2020
Well, we’ve already covered the early history of the Fuldamobil. But, with the exception of Sweden, we didn’t really touch on the export markets or the license-built versions. It was sold as the Nobel in a few markets and was even produced in India.
Two different companies built them in Greece: Attica and Alta. Alta was based in Athens between 1962 and 1978 and built microcars, motorcycles, and light commercial vehicles. The A200 is powered by a Heinkel 200cc single.
It was the last Fuldamobil variant still in production when it was axed in 1974. This is a nice one, and you can read more about it here. More cars from this sale can be viewed here.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 11-19, 2020
Lawil S.p.A. was founded by Henri Willame and Carlo Lavezzari in Pavia, Italy, in 1967. The company actually stuck around through 1988, building a range of microcars over the years. Their early cars were based on Lambrettas.
The S3, also known by its nickname Varzina, was introduced in 1968 and remained in production through 1980. It is powered by a 246cc twin from a Lambretta that makes 12 horsepower. Top speed was about 40 mph.
The S3 wasn’t very popular in Italy but sold okay in other markets (or okay enough to keep it around for a dozen years). They’re a rare sight today, and this one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | October 19, 2019
The Flipper was built by SEAB (Societe d’Exploitation et d’Application des Brevet) between 1978 and 1984. The company gained exposure to building plastic-bodied cars by doing just that for the Citroen Mehari. Also, gotta love any company whose official name includes the word “exploitation.”
The Flipper was built as two different models (a third never entered production), all of which were “sans permis” – meaning they could be driven without a license. That is, they are small enough not to qualify as cars in France. Power is from a 47cc Sachs single-cylinder engine. Despite its looks, it is not amphibious.
And it was only available in beige or brown. The coolest part about it is that it doesn’t have a reverse gear. Instead, it has a front axle that pivots all the way around. So to go backward, just keep turning the steering wheel until you start going backward. The Flipper II went about things more traditionally. It’s kind of weird. Kind of French. Kind of cool. This “survivor-level” car should bring between $880-$1,700. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Alcacer do Sal, Portugal | September 20-21, 2019
This is the first car we’ve ever featured that was built by a Portuguese company. Specifically, the Sado 550 was built by Entreposto Comercial SA, a company that specialized in trailers and campers.
Only about 500 were built between 1982 and 1984. They are powered by a 527cc two-cylinder engine from Daihatsu that makes 28 horsepower. The engine is mounted up front and appears to drive the rear wheels through a four-speed transmission.
Not many of these remain, although they can still occasionally be spotted in Portugal. This one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from RM’s sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | March 29-30, 2019
1965 Goggomobil TS300 Cabriolet
The Goggomobil was built by Hans Glas GmbH between 1955 and 1969. There were a number of different models offered, with the TS coupe model available in TS250 or TS300 form.
They are powered by a 15 horsepower, 293cc 2-stroke twin. The cabriolet is very rare, with only seven examples produced. This former museum car carries a pre-sale estimate of $35,000-$45,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $20,350.
1958 Biscuter 200-1 Furgoneta
The Biscuter was a microcar built by Autonacional of Spain. It is a descendant of Gabriel Voisin‘s post-war Biscooter French microcar. Different models were available, including the Pegasin sports car and this Furgoneta commercial van.
Power here is from a 197cc 2-stroke single-cylinder making a whopping nine horsepower. It’s wearing a wrap, which is an interesting thing to do to a classic car. Not many examples remain, and this one sports some pretty awesome wood work. It should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019
The Smith Flyer went on sale in 1916, and it was a two-seat buckboard driven by a fifth wheel located out back. Briggs & Stratton bought the design in 1919, and it was sold as the Briggs & Stratton flyer thereafter. In 1924, they sold the rights to the Automotive Electric Service Corporation, who began to market the cars as the Red Bug (and sometimes the Auto Red Bug).
Between 1924 and 1928, two versions were offered: a gas-powered single-cylinder car and an electric one. They were more or less identical in looks and both cost $150. This 12-volt electric-powered version has only four wheels and was restored by its current owner.
Yes, these are real cars that you should be able to register for the road. The Indian motorcycle company allegedly bought the design in 1930, but no one really seems to know what happened, and they disappeared from the automotive landscape (though I couldn’t imagine driving one in the 1930s with a huge Duesenberg bearing down on you, much less an SUV today). This one should sell for between $11,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019
Well, with some confidence I can truly say I never thought I’d type out the words “Dick Tricycle.” But alas, here we are. Dick was a French coachbuilder… and I can find no other information about them.
But apparently in 1952 they bodied this diminutive three-wheeler. Power is from a horizontal Ducati 175cc single-cylinder engine. The rear wheel is the driven wheel, and interior seating is a one-by-one arrangement with the passenger behind the driver.
This unique one-off was restored long ago and can now be yours for between $11,000-$17,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Los Angles, California | December 8, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Georges Mochet built microcars in Puteaux between 1946 and 1958. Prior to that he built pedal-powered cars under the Velocar name. But when he started powering them (even in desperate, post-war Europe, people weren’t necessarily thrilled with having to pedal), sales took off.
Early cars were kind of bizarre, but the company hit their stride once the Mochet Type K gave way to the CM-125. Power in this little runabout is from a 125cc single-cylinder engine that made five horsepower. That may sound sad, but in France at the time that meant you didn’t even need a driver’s license to operate one (and they are street legal). It would even evolve a commercial variant.
This example was part of the Bruce Weiner collection, where it was restored. It is now offered with an estimate of $35,000-$45,000. Find out more here and see the rest of the RM Sotheby’s Petersen lineup here.
Offered by Mecum | Chicago, Illinois | October 25-27, 2018
Photo – Mecum
The Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar was an electric microcar built between 1974 and 1977. This tiny wedged-shaped, bug-eyed thing was available in some very 1970s colors. About 2,300 were built. Hilariously, the company billed themselves as America’s sixth-largest automobile manufacturer, which was technically true.
The design was purchased by Commuter Vehicles Inc. in 1979. This new company built pretty much the same car, but badged as the Comuta-Car, with a Comuta-Van variant available as well (but mostly for the Postal Service). Production lasted through 1982 and some kits may have been sold after that. By then, 2,144 Comuta-Cars had been built.
This example is fitted with a 12 horsepower electric motor that runs on four batteries. It has a terrifying 50-mph speedometer and a plastic body. It will sell at no reserve, so go get it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.