Did you own a Bubble Car? How many passengers could you fit in it? Did you ever get stuck in one?
As a result of the fuel crisis in the 50’s, there was an increasing demand for cheap motorised transport. Lighter frames and smaller engines meant far greater fuel economy: the term ‘Bubble Car’, to refer to all post-war microcars, was born.
A Bubble Car was a step up from a motorbike and a sidecar, since you could actually talk on a journey and hear one another. Users only required a motorcycle license due to the fact that they generally had three wheels and were installed with engines less than 700cc.
Followers of the Spring Chicken Facebook group have been sharing their memories:
‘My husband and I owned a Bubble Car in the 60’s. We had many adventures in it and also belonged to a scooter club called The Bats.’
‘I remember our art teacher had one. It ended up on the roof of the domestic science lab.’
‘You could buy one for £25 and you didn’t need a driving license. Loved them.’
In the early 60’s, the Peel P50 was manufactured, which was the smallest road car ever made. It was just 4.5ft long and had room for one person – it was so light that you could pick it up by a handle and turn it around.
Can you remember when you could fill up with one gallon of petrol and it seemed to last forever? Do you remember how Bubble Cars would sway in the wind? Many Spring Chicken members have also been reminiscing on their trips to school – or, in some cases, their trips to Nice and Monte-Carlo.
A disadvantage of Bubble Cars was that they did not have a reverse gear. You had to be careful to give yourself enough room when parking, or else you would be trapped inside!
‘My sister got trapped in one. She parked too close to the garage wall and couldn’t open the door…’