May 23 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Bubble car and micro car enthusiasts flocked to Norfolk to admire each others’ novelty motors at an international rally last weekend.
The microcar is defined differently depending on the country and multiple restrictions are imposed as there are tax and licensing advantages to the classification.
In general they are economy vehicles with either three or four wheels, powered by petrol engines of no more than 700cc or battery electric propulsion, and manufactured since 1945.
Typical microcar features include;
Seats only for the driver and one passenger.
A one cylinder 49cc - 500cc engine
One wheel drive.
Cable operated brakes on two or four wheels, no longer legal in the UK.
Wheels size 6” - 8”.
Many are three wheelers, have no reverse gear and are less than 3m in length.
Prior to October 2000, a person who passed a motorcycle test in the UK was allowed to drive a micro car.
The last major UK manufacturer, Reliant, ceased production of microcars in 1998.
The 38th International Bubble Car Rally was hosted in East Anglia for the first time ever, uniting motorists from across Europe and even Australia.
It was hosted by the East Anglian Microcar Club, and featured a convoy of small, 150cc to 600cc engine cars touring the Great Yarmouth borough.
They were on show at Joyland Diner at the seafront on Friday, and owners camped at Rose Farm Touring Park in Belton over the weekend.
Members of the public were invited to see the cars and learn about them yesterday.
Tony Pettingill of the East Anglian Microcar Club organised the weekend with Martin Gallea.
Mr Pettingill said: “It is the cuteness of them, they are so small that no matter where you go people will stop and stare, and laugh, and just enjoy the sight.
“They are a lot of fun, they are a product of the 60s.
“You can be driving down the road and you will get people smiling.
“They do not believe what they are seeing, youngsters do not realise such a thing exists.”