List of microcars by country of origin

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File:Champion 400 1952 6.jpg
The Champion 400, a German microcar built in 1952

This is a list of microcars by country of origin. This list excludes cars over 700 cc, and cars where production or manufacture ended before 1945.

Microcars have been defined as 'very compact, small-engined cars, designed for use in large cities, especially in Japan.'[1] even though in Japan, such cars are known as kei cars. Microcars have also been defined as being a 'small car, popular in the 1950s, that featured a body offering full weather protection and mechanics often derived from motorcycle technology'[2] though in the 1950s, a trend towards egg-shaped cars with a relatively large ratio of windows to bodywork meant that the affectionate term bubble car was used.[3]

The term Microcar, is usually applied only to such small cars built after World War II, cars built prior to the war are more generally referred to as Cyclecars. However one dictionary definition states simply that a microcar is ‘a small fuel-efficient automobile.’[4]

An attempt at a more specific definition for Microcars suggested by some enthusiasts is 'economy vehicles with either three or four wheels, powered by petrol engines of no more than 700 cc or battery electric propulsion, and manufactured since 1945'.[5]

In short, defining what is or what is not a microcar is not an exact science. Microcar is a subjective common noun, so no list will ever be definitive. But with museums devoted solely to microcars,[6][7] numerous published encyclopaedias of microcars[8][9] and microcar enthusiast clubs worldwide, this list is an attempt to collate as many of these vehicles as possible into a common grouping.


See also


  1. Schwarz (Editor), Catherine (1994). The Chambers Dictionary. Chambers. ISBN 0-550-10255-8. 
  2. English edition editorial team, Rupert Livesey, Robin Sawers, Liz Greasby ; advisor, Dave Whitehouse (1996). Dictionary of Automobile Engineering. Peter Collin Publishing. ISBN 0-948549-66-1. 
  3. "65 MPH and 80 MPG-That's the Messerschmitt". Motorcycle Mechanics. London (published April 1963). 1963. pp. 34–35. 
  4. "Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary of English" (Preview Edition (v 0.9.7)). 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  5. "About RUM". The Register of Unusual Microcars. 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  6. "The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum". 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  7. "The Bubble Car Museum". 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  8. Rees, Chris (1995). Microcar Mania. Bookmarque Publishing. ISBN 1-870519-18-3. 
  9. Dan, Michael (2007). A-Z of Popular Scooters and Microcars. Bookmarque Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84584-088-4.