Useful, enjoyable and often downright ugly. Smaller spaces, overcrowded cities and the need to cover fewer kilometres have led to failed experiments and great successes. In Japan, for example, microcars are a reference: they are called Keicars and have been brightening up the streets since World War II with their playful shapes that look like something straight out of a manga.
In selecting ten iconic models, however, it is worth starting from the beginning of the last century, in 1911, when Marcel Violet’s Violette (the man in the photo) appeared, a «cyclecar», considered one of the grandmothers of microcars. In fact, it was halfway between a car and a motorbike, with a lightweight automotive body combined with a one-two-cylinder engine. The result was an economical two-seater that benefited from tax breaks, but the arrival of Henry Ford’s assembly line marked its end.