Zündapp

Zündapp Werke GmbH, Nuremberg; Munich, Germany 1956-1958


Zundapp, an established motorcycle company, produced this remarkable microcar from 1956-1958.

1956 Z¨ündapp Janus

1956 Z¨ündapp Janus

Opperman

S.E. Opperman Ltd., Elstree; Borehamwood, Herts., UK. 1956 – 1959


The Unicar was a 2-4 seater microcar constructed from fibreglass. It had a rear-mounted 2-stroke 2-cylinder engine of just 225 cc or 328 cc. The car was also available in kit form.

This miniature GT model, called the Stirling, made its debut at the 1958 London Motor Show. Engine size had grown to 424 cc. Very few were sold.

1958 Stirling

Hoffmann

Hoffmann, Ratingen-Lintorf, Germany. 1949-1954

Hoffmann manufactured bicycles before venturing out into the world of motorcycles and microcars. The Auto-Kabine 250 was based on the Isetta, but the design was adapted somewhat (side doors) as they were unable to acquire an official licence from ISO. BMW (who did have a licence to make Isettas) successfully sued Hoffmann, who had to cease production after just over 100 vehicles had been sold.

1955 Hoffmann Auto-Kabine 250

Heinkel

Ernst Heinkel AG, Stuttgart, Germany. 1955-1958

Heinkel manufactured aircraft before turning to scooters after World War 2. This rear-engined bubble car (microcar) was introduced in 1955. The first model had two front wheels and a single wheel at the rear, later models were available with twin rear wheels. In 1958 the design was acquired by Dundalk engineering of Ireland. The car was later built by Trojan in England. With its diminutive dimensions and puny single-cylinder engine (10 hp) the car was very fuel-efficient, with a claimed 94 mpg or 3.2 litres/100km. Indeed the UK brochure states: “Economy? Why, Heinkel-motoring is almost as cheap as breathing!”

1957 Heinkel Cabin Cruiser

Heinkel car
Heinkel details

Bond

Bond produced their first 3-wheeler in 1948/1949. The first models were fitted with Villiers 2-stroke motorcycle engines. In 1965 the two-strokes were replaced by Hillman Imp units, mounted in the rear. In 1970 Bond introduced the Bond Bug, an entirely new design by Tom Karen, featuring a hinged roof instead of doors. The engine was a 4-cylinder 701 cc unit that delivered 29 hp at 5000 rpm.
Bond also produced some nice-looking sports cars between 1963 and 1971 called the Bond Equipe.