This stunning micro-car could be the poster child for the Slow Car Movement

motoplan micro car
© RM Auctions

Looking at these images of an absolutely gorgeous little micro-car on Core77, I was reminded of a post I wrote years ago, Small Cars "Almost Cheaper Than Walking", in which I called for a Slow Car Movement. If cars were slower, then they wouldn't need so much protection, air bags and other stuff that makes them heavy. They could comfortably co-exist with bicycles. They would go perfectly with your tiny house.

Isetta in city© Isetta handbook

Perhaps, like the slow food movement, we need a slow car movement, a radical lowering of the speed limit so that the private car can survive in an era of peak oil and global warming, simply by being smaller and slower. We don't need hydrogen cars and new technology, we just need better, smaller designs, lower speed limits and no big SUVs on the road to squish them.

I think a lot of people might go along with this idea if they could buy something as pretty as the 1957 Jurisch Motoplan.

Engineer Carl Jurisch built it using a motorcycle sidecar as the base. According to the late lamented Microcar museum,

The unique steering, U-shaped handlebars pivoted under the seat, is a delight to use- light and precise. Handlegrips conveniently incorporate blinker switch and horn button. Canopy, tail, seat and fuel tank all pivot upwards for access. In conjunction with motorcycle dealer Joe Berliner, he tried to market the tiny car in New York City at the height of the tailfin craze, hugely misjudging the market from his vantage point in rural Germany.

Many people look at these things and worry about how unsafe they must have been, built without air bags or crush zones or collapsing steering columns. However I suspect there would be a lot less carnage on the roads, a lot fewer pedestrians killed, if drivers felt a little less protected and drove accordingly.

isetta brocure© Isetta brochure 1957

You would definitely be more careful if you were driving in something like this with your family.

This stunning micro-car could be the poster child for the Slow Car Movement
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