I have a very small car which is in the category of microcars. It is just 90 inches long (228 cms) and 53 inches wide (135 cms); can carry two people at speeds of 50 MPH while giving a whooping 50 miles to the gallon on regular gas. It is a 1957 BMW Isetta 300, also known as a bubble car.
The reason that I like this car so much is because, in my personal opinion, it is a very practical and intelligent design for city driving.
Let’s face it, most of the times people drive alone in their cars when going back and forth to their jobs and carrying just a suitcase or a couple of bags, so why use a large vehicle that will take so much space in the roads and parking lots while using so much fuel.
These microcars don’t have a full array of safety features like newer cars, yet they survived the passage of time without being involved in accidents like their “safer” counterparts.
The reason seems to be easily explained when you think that traffic accidents would be greatly reduced if instead of an airbag in the steering wheel cars had a spike pointing to the driver’s face; wouldn’t you be very careful all the time? And what if everybody was driving very carefully all the time? The more safety features a car has, the less attention to driving some people pay.
Now, being Microcars very simple in design with just the basic elements for driving, people who own and drive them usually are very aware of the surroundings and conditions while in any street; no distractions with fancy stereos or cell phones, so less risks involved.
The reason they are almost extinct nowadays is that people neglected proper care, usually abandoning them in farms and sheds for twenty or thirty years, replacing them for more complex vehicles with more features.
When thinking about a Microcar think of a scooter with a body; weather protection but not a very good heater and no AC. Also no power stuff like power windows, power steering, power brakes, etc. Everything is the basic and because of that, more reliable. If is not there it cannot go wrong. J
This little car not only represents a practical means of transportation within the city, but also, in my personal opinion, is a statement about simplicity, which is really important in life.
How many times we tend to complicate ourselves with daily elements that, seen in a simple perspective, are not so complicated after all. In my country we have a saying: “drowning in a glass of water” I’m sure there’s an equivalent in English.
Just looking at this car and while driving it it’s easy to see that we have a tendency to complicate things too much and with it, complicate our lives unnecessarily.
I’m not saying we should get rid of all the complex cars and/or the safety devices they have, but instead consider the use of our always advancing technology as an aid rather than an end.
Every time I have the opportunity to drive this little car with no luxury or power stuff life becomes easier, simpler, and the simple pleasures of life come back to me to remind me of my childhood times when life was a marvel to experience, instead of an endless list of overwhelming tasks to accomplish.
Being an adult with responsibilities and own possibilities is a wonderful thing; there’s no need to complicate it unnecessarily with more and more; we can still be a responsible adult with a childish heart and this little car always remind me of that.