Journal: What’s The Smallest Classic Car You’ve Owned?

What’s The Smallest Classic Car You’ve Owned?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
May 25, 2016
44 comments

We try to write as often as possible about small cars here at Petrolicious because a) we like them and b) they’re fun. Sure, next to their modern counterparts, classic cars are almost always going to be smaller than the vehicles you see today—but many enthusiasts are interested in adding some of the tiniest collector cars to their fleets.

This could mean a BMW Isetta or 700, a Porsche 356, Alfa Romeo Berlina, or a Fiat Topolino 750 MM by Zagato. A Volkswagen Beetle, Messerschmitt…maybe even a classic electric car. Somewhat paradoxically, my daily driver is a new-age Fiat 500 Abarth—which is even smaller (both inside and out) than the 2-cylinder Citroën 2CV I’ve also had the pleasure of owning. I’d probably go as tiny dimensionally as a Ligier JS2 or Zagato Zele, but my dream microcar would have to be the four-wheeled Messerschmitt-based FMR Tg500.

Don’t worry, you’ll be the first to know if I find $100,000 in my sock drawer and bring one of those home. For now, the 2CV is the smallest car in terms of engine size and capability that I’ve owned.

What’s the smallest classic car you’ve owned?

Photography by: Rosario Liberti, Nathan Leland, Afshin Behnia, Frank & Tim Goedhart, & Rémi Dargegen

Tags Questions
Join the Conversation
Related

44
Leave a Reply

41 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
5 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
41 Comment authors
Robert WylandRobbe-Ray HoughtonPeter J SmithMike Olivera Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Robbe-
Robbe-

Not sure if a first gen Mazda MX5 qualifies as a classic, but it’s the smallest (and first) car I own, and the smallest car I’ve ever driven as well.

Ray Houghton
Ray Houghton

Fiat x1/9. It is a go cart for the streets. I’d drive it for a few weeks, then switch to my 124 spider, and it made the 124 feel big and spacious. The owners manual said it was built for 2 150 pound adults. For tire changes it had only 2 jack points, one on either side of the car, in the center to lift the whole side of the car.
What a fun car to drive when it was running right.

Robert Wyland
Robert Wyland

Still own one, it’s been good to me so far, and yes fun!

Peter J Smith
Peter J Smith

1974 Leyland Mini 1000.

Mike Olivera
Mike Olivera

Owned a 1965 Porsche 356C, lovely car.

Michael Russell
Michael Russell

1972 FIAT 124 Sport — It was a great little car except it burned blue (not too much though).

Sakke
Sakke

My smallest car was Fiat 600 1972, 28 hp. It wasn,t very reliable, but nice. Ford Escort 1100 ate my dust on curvy gravel roads. Isuzu Bellett 1500 (I had three of such) was not so big either. I really loved those Isuzus!

Alan Cooper
Alan Cooper

I had a Lancia Y10 GTie but at a time when it was just a banger, fun but very flawed and uncomfortable. Not sure they are classic really

Barry Ward
Barry Ward

My smallest car was a 1958 Isetta, but the most interesting was a bug eye Sprite with a 202 ci six cylinder GM engine. With a total mass of 1600 lbs it was quick off the mark.
Did many miles in a Renault 750 in the 1950’s.

turks_kid
turks_kid

Aside from the usual collection of Beetles there was the Fiat 850 spyder, a 600C, my MGA, but the car that was the most fun, when it ran, was the Honda 600.
At 6’5″, 240 I and my brother, he of similar size, caused many a long stare getting out of it. We may have weighed more that the car.
Sold it to an engineer so he could create his electric car.

martin1133
martin1133

Many. Mini 850, Neckar Weinsberg (Fiat 500 based coupe), Fiat 600, Bugeye Sprite, Fiat Cinquecento (90s version) etc. Have a Fiat Panda 100hp which has nearly 300,000km on it (all hilarious).

Most fun? Either the comp-prepped Ginetta G15 or my son´s 1993 refrigerator white Fiat Cinquecento, 105bhp, fully sorted suspension/brakes but looks stock

Steven R. Johnson
Steven R. Johnson

The smallest classic I have owned was my first car, a 1959 Fiat Abarth Berlina 750

George Maffett
George Maffett

I have a ’59 Bugeye Sprite , a 2005 Lotus elise and a classic Caterham 7.
All are small cars when entering and exiting when you’re 65 years old!

Gonzalo
Gonzalo

We have an Isetta 300 and we are restoring (trying) a Renault 4CV. You could see the restauration process and some histories here: http://www.renault4cv.blogspot.com

Gonzalo
Gonzalo

Under the title “Isetta Nº” and “Restauración Nº”!

Emerson Harris
Emerson Harris

Fiat 500

Steely
Steely

Mini 1275GT or Triumph GT6 mk2, I think the GT6 felt smaller in the cabin, I sold it because I found it a bit too uncomfortable to drive for more than an hour at a time.

Mos6502
Mos6502

I had a 1969 Subaru 360. 950lbs car with 25hp, and I drove it cross country. You can find my story about the ordeal here: http://nostalgic-car-life.tumblr.com/post/139687211629/my-childhood-dream-car-was-a-subaru-360-and-i

Errett Porter
Errett Porter

1960 Nash Metropolitan convertible

Miroslav Košir
Miroslav Košir

Zastava 750 LE

Landroving
Landroving

Started with a Renault LeCar (R5) but the best was the 06 Mini Cooper S . It was the first one in my town as I had to go to the next state to get it and always drew a crowd, I would often find 4-5 people standing around it when i came out of the store. I still miss the whine of the supercharger.

Ezio Zambrano Velarde
Ezio Zambrano Velarde

Mi first mini car was a MiniCord 1992, its a fiberglass rover mini version made in Venezuela,

Edgar Louwerse
Edgar Louwerse

I own both a ’72 Volkswagen 1200 (Beetle) and a ’70 Fiat 500F. I considered the Beetle a regular sized car, but reading this I realise there might be a trend starting.

Isaiah Stanley
Isaiah Stanley

My smallest is my first car. A 1967 VW bug that was originally Java Green

Barry Ward
Barry Ward

My smallest was a 1958 Isetta, the earliest sports car was a 1954 MG TF but the quickest oldie was a Bug Eyed Sprite with a 202 Ci GM 6 cylinder engine. The Isetta was a hoot in London traffic, navigating Hyde Park Corner each morning on the way to work. The ’34 Ford V8 coupe I had when I was 17 set the standard.

Lee Elliott
Lee Elliott

A 1961 Morris 850 (Mini – but they were too scared to name it as such) was my first car, however, it was never registered or driven on the road.

Smallest car driven, registered and legal was a 1974 Honda Civic hatch.

Both cars were pure fun!

CJ_Madson
CJ_Madson

1959 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile Special. A whopping 21 HP on a good day but fully independent suspension, 4-speed manual, suicide doors, sliding roof and a back seat. Not many Specials around but it’s based on the original Fiat 500 so parts are mostly available. And perfect for a 1.6-car garage.

Bianchina, Baby

Todd Vess
Todd Vess

A 1967 Morris Mini with a 1.3L MG Metro engine and an 850 Austin Mini. Both RHD and both fun in their own ways. Unique in Northern Colorado to say the least.

JsT Fartin
JsT Fartin

Fiat 128 coupe, VW Karman Ghia, Volvo 1800S and 1800ES. Oncoming Lincoln Navigators, straddling the center line, assume they deserve part of my lane.

R Murphy
R Murphy

MG 1100 and the worst also,

Stephan P
Stephan P

Fiat 850. Not sure which was smallest, sedan, coupe or spider.

Jason Lauder
Jason Lauder

Suzuki Sc100 also known in th UK as whizzkid 970cc rear engine full independent suspension so much fun to drive i should never have sold itcomment image?oh=45a9c9740c92966f20c0095675a92bc2&oe=57DA96F4

Tom Richards
Tom Richards

The smallest classic car I own is also my first ever classic car, but it certainly wont be my last. My 1978 Triumph Spitfire 1500

Lucas Vazquez
Lucas Vazquez

Austin Mini 1000 HL (998cc) – 1981
More photos at me instagram acc: https://www.instagram.com/lucas998cc/

Santiago Zanoni
Santiago Zanoni

Fiat 600 1972 (850cc)

MERCURIO MUZZUPAPPA
MERCURIO MUZZUPAPPA

The smallest classic I owned was a 1956 Fiat 1100 103E. The first car, after gettin’ the driver license, was a 1962 Ford Cortina. Nothin’ fancy, but they were great.

Luis Armando Gálvez Catalán
Luis Armando Gálvez Catalán

I usually drive the family ’73 BMW 2002… I realize it’s not exactly the smallest car, but compared to modern standards it is!

Peter Tosi
Peter Tosi

An NA Mazda MX-5. It was a pleasure to drive around town and a blast to drive on fast roads. It handled wonderfully. It went where you pointed it and if you were a bit too quick into a corner the back would come around slightly to point you the right way out. I had a non airbag Nardi steering wheel and a brushed aluminium gear knob that looked like it was out a 70’s Italian sports car. I drove it everywhere and even long distance with all my gear in it including a computer in the passengers foot-well and… Read more »

Evan Bedford
Evan Bedford

I still have my NA. Easily the best vehicle I’ve ever owned…especially in our Alberta winters (heated leather seats, limited slip diff, and perfect 50/50 weight distribution). But it still seems like big boat compared to my old Spitfire.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

While not exactly small by Mini / 500 standards ;. FIAT Dino Spider .

Martin Philippo
Martin Philippo

The smallest would be the Fiat 850 Sport Spider. A lovely car that we took on our honeymoon.
After the honeymoon my wife got pregnant (as things go) so that was the end of small cars for us.

Sir Mouse
Sir Mouse

69 Austin Mini 850 re-engined with a Austin America engine bored to 1.3 ltr / 649 cam / 1.75″SU carb with 13″ torque tube and headers. Fast, noisy and a blast to drive!

Maxime Veilleux
Maxime Veilleux

I own a Beetle and its a blast.

Would love to own a Cooper S too.

Evan Bedford
Evan Bedford

Spitfire. No need for power steering on that thing!