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Bubble cars (was 'Messerschmitts over Coventry!')

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Hector1
Coventry
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Thread starter
16 of 26  Tue 2nd Jun 2015 10:44pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2014  Total posts:13

This is the 1958 car which led to my enquiry. It is difficult to judge from photos but appears to be original and all there. On top of the purchase price, you would have to budget for a comprehensive restoration, but then it would be a nice car to own.
Motoring - Bubble cars (was 'Messerschmitts over Coventry!')
Dillotford
Stafford
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17 of 26  Wed 3rd Jun 2015 5:18pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2014  Total posts:29

Hector - Have a visit to the reference library, and see if there are any trade books / phone directory for the late '50's, to see if its listed.
Motoring - Bubble cars (was 'Messerschmitts over Coventry!')
pixrobin
Canley
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18 of 26  Sun 29th Apr 2018 3:33pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2014  Total posts:1139

Hi Helen, I know what you mean about the size of the wheels from my years of riding motorbikes. Passing a large lorry in the rain was my image of hell. But, the Mini replaced the 1950s bubble cars where you sat even lower. The only saving grace was they hardly went fast enough to pass a bus or a lorry Big grin Post copied from topic Coventry - a world in miniature hobbies on 4th May 2018 1:33 pm
Motoring - Bubble cars (was 'Messerschmitts over Coventry!')
scrutiny
coventry
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19 of 26  Mon 30th Apr 2018 5:37pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:715

A little story, someone I knew used to drive one of these. Driving up towards Tile Hill he decided to pull in by the shops just past Eastcotes hitting the kerb. I think you can already guess? A bit too quick, he turned it over, landing front down. Luckily some nice people turned it back onto its wheels so he could get out. He drove off as he was to embarrassed to get out. Oh my
Motoring - Bubble cars (was 'Messerschmitts over Coventry!')
Helen F
Warrington
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20 of 26  Mon 30th Apr 2018 6:50pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2327

I believe that those bubble cars had no reverse gear? I've heard tales of people driving up to walls and being unable to get out or drive back.
Motoring - Bubble cars (was 'Messerschmitts over Coventry!')
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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21 of 26  Mon 30th Apr 2018 9:48pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4393

Hi Helen Wave Beep beep!
Motoring - Bubble cars (was 'Messerschmitts over Coventry!')
Helen F
Warrington
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22 of 26  Mon 30th Apr 2018 10:02pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2327

Hi Philip Wave Not sure about the song but I'm tickled by the idea of a Grand Theft Auto with Bubble Cars, Reliant Robins, Hillman Imps, those little one person French cars and the Italian ones that were like motorbikes with a van bolted on. Instead of death, sex and mayhem, the game would feature slippery hills, sharp corners, persuading people to give you a push start and transporting large objects without getting arrested.
Motoring - Bubble cars (was 'Messerschmitts over Coventry!')
Earlsdon Kid
Argyll & Bute, Scotland
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23 of 26  Fri 4th May 2018 12:45pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2017  Total posts:89

On 30th Apr 2018 6:50pm, Helen F said: I believe that those bubble cars had no reverse gear? I've heard tales of people driving up to walls and being unable to get out or drive back.
My first car was a bubble car, bought for £10 with the engine and gearbox in pieces. After putting it back together and brush painting in red Dulux household gloss, it was my transport on a motorbike licence before I turned 17 and got a full car licence. It was an Isetta (BMW) which did have a reverse gear. The one in your picture I'm pretty sure is a Trojan, but you are correct that many DID NOT have reverse, which I believe was a condition for driving on a motorbike licence until the rules were changed (or clarified) sometime before 1968 when I started driving it. I recall that driving it in icy conditions was somewhat challenging but I could fill the petrol tank completely for 10 shillings and 6 pence!
Motoring - Bubble cars (was 'Messerschmitts over Coventry!')
Greg
Coventry
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24 of 26  Fri 4th May 2018 6:48pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2011  Total posts:301

I, also, had an Isetta and travelled far and wide in it. If you only had a m/cycle licence, you could take out a `spacer` near the gear stick and this blanked off reverse gear. This could be replaced when you passed your test.
Motoring - Bubble cars (was 'Messerschmitts over Coventry!')
pixrobin
Canley
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25 of 26  Fri 4th May 2018 6:49pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2014  Total posts:1139

LOLOLOL - I probably paid more than that for a model of the Heinkel shown in another thread. The Trojan was a Heinkel made under licence.
Motoring - Bubble cars (was 'Messerschmitts over Coventry!')
Earlsdon Kid
Argyll & Bute, Scotland
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26 of 26  Fri 4th May 2018 9:40pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2017  Total posts:89

The Messerschmitt bubble car was quite unusual (see post 1) as the passenger sat behind the driver. However, back to the reverse gear subject, the Messerschmitt had a reverse which was engaged by stopping the engine and then re-starting it in reverse. This had the result of being able to use all gears in reverse which meant that very brave or foolhardy drivers could theoretically travel at the same speed in reverse as they could in normal forward travel. I don't know anyone who actually achieved this feat!
Motoring - Bubble cars (was 'Messerschmitts over Coventry!')

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