Little cars

In the early 1990’s there were a couple of cars on the market that were referred as either people movers or personal transport. They had only a front seat with very little room behind it and the trunk had the capacity of a couple of shopping bags or a medium suitcase. Anyone remember the names of these cars, and any other info would be appreciated.

Isetta for one. There were several. Google Isetta and “Smart Car”

Have fun.

I can’t remember any such car on the US market in the early 1990’s, unless you mean the Ford Festiva or something similar, but they had rear seats, and could actually hold four people in a pinch. There were small cars from Geo, Mazda, Suzuki, and others at the time, but I’m pretty sure most of them had at least the pretense of a rear seat. Except perhaps that little Mazda fastback. I can’t remember the model designation, but it was available with a small V6. I’m not talking about the RX-7. The car I’m thinking of was smaller.

The Honda Insight meets your description, and the soon-to-be-available Smart Car sounds like what you’re looking for, although I think you can almost match the mileage of a Smart Car with other small, economical vehicles.

There have been small, economical cars on the market for a long time, just not too many with no rear seats, unless you want a roadster.

AMC sold the AMX with no rear seat, but that was a long time ago.

Could you be referring to the little 3-wheeled “vehicles” mailmen used to deliver mail door-to-door back in I guess the 60’s? Anybody remember these things or know what product they were? I called them sardine cans. By the way, my Dad once drove a delivery truck from St. Louis to the West Coast. There was no seat. He drove standing up the whole way. I guess the seat was MIA. Don’t ask me how he shifted gears or what this has to do with the price of sardines in China.

The Geo Metro LSI convertible seems to fit your description.

A really cool one, Toyota MR2, great drive.

Ah, yes, the Lincoln Town Car. Great car, that.


Don’t forget early 70’s Chrysler Imperials. Not allowed at demo derbies. Unfair advantage.

I believe the vehicle you describe is a Cushman, which is basically a street-legal golf cart. The meter maids in my town drive one of those around-- I don’t know if they ever sell them off like the patrol cars. Another similar class of vehicle would be the little Japanese micro-pickups that you occasionally see. A garden store where I live has just started selling them. They’re about 4000 bucks new and supposedly they can haul two people and a quarter-ton of cargo, go 60mph and get something like 80mpg.

In Europe, there have been many different models of micro-cars or “enclosed motorcycles” sold consitently since the end of WWII. Before government regulations made importing cars more difficult, some of them would wind up over here, but since the early-70’s they’ve generally been too much trouble to import and not popular enough. I don’t remember any micro-cars being sold here during the 90’s. Keep in mind that for most of the decade gas hovered around a buck a gallon, so fuel economy wasn’t quite as much of a concern as it is now.

I agree the Isetta is very cool, but that was the 60s IIRC, and there were never very many in the U.S. I still see very few smart cars around, but there is a dealer about 1/2 mile from me selling them now.

I also can’t think of any from the 90s.

didn’t we ship a bunch of those over to Russia to use as tanks for their military? :stuck_out_tongue:

Honda del Sols. 2 seater–a bigger trunk than you might think + it has a targa top that stores in the trunk which made it a convertible.

Yeah, a tank. There was more sheet metal on one quarter panel of those things than on the entirety of one of these “little” cars.

I think the most popular one you will still see on the road is the Honda CR-X. It was a very popular little car. The Civic Del Sol came after that, but it was more of a tiny sport car than personal transport in my opinion.

There was also the Pontiac Fiero. I saw one of them on the road a few days ago. It was also pretty sporty.

Yeah, the Fiero- mid 80’s. A rolling wedge. Engine in rear, radiator in front. Alot of’em got their engines ruined because some mechanics didn’t know how to get all the air out of the cooling system doing a service.

HA! Ya want a little car?? – I suggest you do a google video search for “peel p50 top gear”.

^^ THAT is a small car.

I watched this video a few weeks ago and couldn’t stop laughing. And…you can get it in the sport version.

Google 'bubble cars". Due to the war torn economy in Europe after WWII, there were numerous cheap little “bubble cars” produced as cheap modes of transport. Some made it to the U.S. As a matter of fact the success of the old MG-T series cars (and ultimately the A series) was attributable to the G.I.s bringing them back when they came home from the war. They were cheap, fun transportation.