draft of this post was written on Nov. 23, 2011;
It finally was posted on my blog on Nov. 23, 2014. Three years later. I feel a little silly that it sat
unfinished for that long. It’s true that I get all gung ho starting projects
and that I sometimes don’t finish them. Three years seems like a long time to
let this post marinate. Of course not when I compare it to the age of our
My mom likened the Isetta to the cars Richard Scarry drew, which is right-on! Here are two of Scarry’s illustrations that remind me a lot of the Isetta:
(The photo above must have been a later incarnation, with four wheels. But its top remains mostly glass, like the earliest models, and like Scarry's illustrations.)
In 1962 manufacturing of the Isetta was stopped. Among other factors, competition from the VW Beetle and Fiat created less demand for the Isetta. The Isetta’s seven year ride was short but this unusual car has not been forgotten. Today small cars are in demand due to fuel prices and a growing concern about the environment. Fuel-efficient cars, electric cars and hybrids are popular. I’d like to think that the Smart Car has picked up where the Isetta left off. It’s small, it’s very different-looking and it’s fuel-efficient. Did I mention cute? (No, I don’t drive one, nor do I work for Smart Car!)
I’m a good driver but I don’t understand much about how car engines work. I am convinced a really fast hamster is running through a wheel under the hood to power my car. Even if I know very little about how cars work, I’m intrigued by the design of cars from the 50s and 60s. Cars had such unusual design features back then: exaggerated lines and curves and true personality. And some had really fun, pointy tail fins!
This is only somewhat related to our chat about the Isetta, but I did spot a tuk-tuk on the streets of San Diego a few years back. It too is three-wheeled, small and efficient. I was shocked to see it!
That’s why I’m keeping my eyes peeled, people. I’m always on the lookout for something unusual and I feel it’s my calling to share my observations and photos with you. Fear not: this won’t be my last post about vintage cars or unusual sights. I’m on it…