Bigger is not always better. Sometimes good things come in small packages – especially when it comes to automobiles. There have been plenty of highly desirable miniature cars released over the years. Collectors still salivate over tiny 1960s microcars, and wealthy families still opt for small, practical luxury cars over gargantuan gas-guzzling behemoths. Here are some of the most desirable, tiny cars ever released.
BMW 1 Series
The first car on this list is actually relatively sensible. Get ready though; the rest are all far from a practical road-going machines. The BMW 1 series is a luxurious and unusual hatchback design that packs all of the high-end features standard on BMW machines into a small frame. Small it may be, but this car is still eminently drivable. It does, however, dwarf some of the other cars on this list.
Biscuter 200-F Pegusin
This rare and elegant Spanish microcar is highly prized by collectors – who often drop upwards of 30,000 dollars to get their hands on an example. It was launched in 1957 with the express purpose of replicating the glamorous looks of the ever-popular (and unattainable) Ferrari. The Pegusin only produced nine horsepower, but this was plenty of horses under the bonnet for a car of its size.
Undeniably whacky, the BMW Isetta set new standards for smallness when it was released in 1955. Although released by BMW, the car was designed in Italy and certainly evoked the futurist Italian industrial designs of the period. Although derided by some rather snobby motorists as a slow and ungainly deathtrap, the Isetta did have some real advantages over the huge cars popular in the 1940s and 50s. Parking, for instance, was a breeze in the miniature marvel. A jet-setting 1950s holidaymaker would have no trouble finding a parking space at the airport in the Isetta, which could literally be lifted into place. Of course, these days, you are much better off booking a parking space in advance with Parkon.com if you need to secure a spot at LAX or JFK.
The undeniable king of small cars, the Morris Mini is one of the world’s most iconic designs in any field. Original Minis were produced in Cowley, Oxfordshire, and proved to be immensely popular with a new generation of cash-strapped adventurous youngsters in the 1960s. They also proved to be immensely nippy and took home plenty of titles in rally motorsports. Paddy Hopkirk raced to victory at the 1964 Monte Carlo rally in his scarlet Mini, launching a near-decade of motorsport prowess for the tiny car.
The Mini also had a starring role in the classic British crime caper The Italian Job. The car perfectly suited the urban driving stunts that were called for in the film. The Mini was re-released after being purchased by BMW in the early 2000s, and although it was successful, the reissue never really managed to capture the essence of the original launch all those years before it.