Fiat’s original 500 was really small. But back in the 1950s you could go even smaller.
Microcars, often dubbed ‘bubble cars’, were popular in post-war Europe, thanks to limited metal supplies, a need for cheap transportation, and a population that was still largely moving itself about by motorcycle. Or horse.
This is one of the most well known bubble cars, the BMW Isetta. Less well known is the fact it was actually an Italian design by ISO Rivolta that BMW produced under license, so it’s fitting therefore that this one is also built from the bits of an Italian car.
The work of previous bloggee Tomáš Novák (aka PsychoWard666), this beautifully presented BMW Isetta is constructed only from the parts found within the official 10271 Creator Fiat 500 set, although such is its accuracy you’d never know. Unless you see it alongside the 10271’s rather pointless easel of course…
Building instructions are available and there’s lots more of Tomáš’ BMW B-Model to see (including that give-away image) at both Eurobricks and Flickr – click the links above to take a look.
The Fiat 500 was small car, even by 1950s European standards. However, you could go even smaller.
The Messerschmitt KR200 ‘Kabinenroller’ (literally ‘scooter with cabin’) measured just 111 inches long and 48 inches wide, and was powered by a tiny 191cc single cylinder engine.
Despite making less than 10bhp, the KR200 could reach 56mph, thanks to a combination of low weight and excellent aerodynamics, which wasn’t far behind ‘normal’ cars of the time.
It was successful too, as post-war Europe (particularly an almost flattened Germany) needed simple cheap transportation to remobilise the population. There was even a ‘Kabrio Limousine’ version with a folding fabric roof, as pictured here by monstermatou of Flickr.
Monster’s wonderful Model Team recreation of the Messerschmitt KR200 captures the ’50s ‘Kabinenroller’ beautifully, and yet it’s been built using only the parts found within the official LEGO 10271 Fiat 500 set.
There’s a raising canopy, opening engine cover, plus a detailed interior and engine too, and there’s lots more to see of Monster’s brilliant bubble car B-Model at his photostream. Click the link above to turn your Fiat 500 into something even smaller!
After the extravagance of yesterday‘s posts it’s time for a vehicle more befitting of this site’s status. Small, slow, and a little bit rubbish, the BMW Isetta ‘bubble car’ was the product of a continent in ruins after World War 2. Metal was in short supply, it could be driven on a motorcycle license, and taxing it was cheap. So was the car of course, mostly because it wasn’t really a car at all.
As is often the way with weird classic cars, the BMW Isetta is now quite sought after, despite being about as cool as a G-Wiz in the ’50s. Maybe the G-Wiz will be cool in 60 years? Stranger things have happened.
This neat recreation of the ’50s German oddity comes from Flickr’s OutBricks, and you can see more by clicking here.
We round off today’s bumper edition of The Lego Car Blog with the news everyone’s talking about; the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby boy (or ‘Wills and Kate’ if you’re a reader of the British tabloid newspapers), third in line to the British throne.
We do sometimes like to link TLCB to current events, and we think we’ve done it rather well this time, with Brickshelf user mijasper‘s lovely BMW Isetta bubble car, which is about as ‘baby’ as a car can be.
‘But’, we hear you say, ‘..the Isetta’s German!’. Yes it is. However, the British Royal Family have a slightly German secret.