Saturday, June 20, 2009

Paris Air Show (preview...)

This afternoon I had the opportunity to go walk around at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport, which happens every two years. More on that soon, but one of the craziest things I saw there today was not an airplane at all, but a tiny clown car . . . built by the famous, or infamous, Messerschmitt company. My goodess, I swear I'd never seen a car quite like this one. . . have you ? ? ? It was parked in the shadow of a wing of a Boeing 747 belonging to Air France. I absolutely love the headlight and mirrors design here, and she's got some nice curves if you ask me. . . I wonder how she handles, and what her top speed might be ? ? ?
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36 comments:

The Sagittarian said...

Certainly a strange wee vehicle! Mind you, I reckon it would be super fun to hoon about Paris in that. I bet it goes faster cos its red.

@eloh said...

A mutant motorcycle..something for the rain and cold. How interesting. Those Mini Coopers are cute and quite expensive, wonder what the price tag is on this wee beast.

cieldequimper said...

Cute little thing!

Buskitten said...

Fantastic car, Owen! I am also a big fan of the Fiat 500; 1000's of which can be seen in Italy - many without a good home (I could give one a great home!) They seem to fetch silly prices over here, many £1000's of pounds, but I's still like to own one, some day!

Steve said...

Do the kids go in the (das) boot?

Cynthia said...

Owen, I think this car is so tiny that it's at an unfail disadvantage on the road. Imagine! And what are the chances of survival after an accident??? It's a pretty little toy-ish car...but not one I want to play with! <3

Lydia said...

I think it's precious. And it would be easy to wash!
My husband is going to love your posts about the air show, most definitely.

Bill Evertson said...

I saw that this was about an air show and was hoping that this little fellow was finally fulfilling our si fi personal flying car fantasies ;)

the watercats said...

The Ronald has just informed me on seeing this that he remembers them well, along with bubble cars... I would love one, that would be so much fun to drive,

Tiedupmemories said...

Very cool! I love it!

Rain said...

neat! Is that a three-wheeler? I've never seen one, pretty cool. It's almost cartoonish!

Silke said...

What a cool car! I wonder how fast it will go... Owen, thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment - love that quote! I'll be back often to visit your blog - love it! :) Silke

Tiedupmemories said...

Owen Thank you too for stoopping by!I just had to say..I just went to JenniferMaestra.com!Lol! My pitiful pictures of pencils are sad!Wow is all I can say!Thanks for sharing!
Tracy

English Rider said...

I think you can relate this car to the cock-pit of a fighter plane. Every boys' dream! Due to the air show there was not a rental car to be had in Paris when Mr."Oh no, I don't need to make a reservation before I go" got off his flight from the US last Wednesday.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

You share the neatest things. Thanks.

Margaret Pangert said...

I hope this little car is as well-built as the Messerschmidt jet plane was. It won't be long until we're all obliged to drive a little Smart car or equivalent, so they should be as safe and sound as possible.

jeff34 said...

Alors ça, c'est de la bagnole ! Je veux la même ! pas besoin d'avoir un superbe 4x4 polluant, une BMW Z4...! ça c'est la voiture qu'il me faut ! tranquille !
Elle ressemble à un insecte, une sorte de petit coléoptère rouge des champs ! ! ! Avec ce type de voiture, sans tisane, on doit friser les 20 à l'heure ! ! !
Bien vu Owen !... Ciao Amigo !...<8:)

Nadege said...

Just to answer one of the comments : the problem is not with those tiny cars, the problem is with the needless "my ego is huge" SUVs.

Laurie said...

My neighbour had one of these and gave me a ride in it. It did the sort of mileage you get from a motorcycle. I found it a little too exciting a ride! Mind you, I also had a ride in, I think, a Heinkel bubble car which was even worse - you sat directly behind the large windscreen which formed the front of the car. The wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_car tells you more!
Laurie

Laurie said...

PS, in 1963, the one you pictured did 65 miles per hour and 80 miles to the gallon!

Marguerite said...

What an adorable car, Owen! Couldn't drive one here though, due to all of the big trucks and SUV's. Imagine if everyone drove this car, how nice the roadways would be. :)

ladydi said...

We see a few Smart Cars on the road - perhaps this is a relative? I'd choose red, too!

clo said...

c est pas pour les familles nombreuse ta voiture Owen..quoique...bien serrés... t aurais peut être pu la mettre dans ta poche.... elle est trop mignonne....surprenante... :) bye bye ..a bientot...

Owen said...

Dear Sagit, yeah, "hooning" around Paris might be fun, but not out on the highways where big trucks roll... and of course everything red is faster... that's why I opted for red hair too... LOL ! As if I had a choice ! Now you just have to let me know what a "hoon" is; sounds vaguely indecent, and coming from your truly good self, I fear the worst ! ;-D

@eloh, I don't actually know much of anything about them, never saw one before yesterday... they were also known as bubble cars, there is some info out there on the web, as Laurie kindly pointed out here. Seems they became popular after the first oil crisis in 1956, linked to the Suez Canal issues at that time...

Ciel ! Ain't she though ? The song that comes to mind is :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwTRJpDv-d4

Hey Liz... I thought it was a VW camper you were hankering after ?!? Sounds like you might need a house with a bigger garage, for your camper, a couple of mini's and fiat's, and Tiddles is probably going to set his sights high on a jaguar or something ???

Owen said...

Steve, the kids go in the (das) inflatable hot air balloon boot that comes as an accessory for carrying extra baggage and children, it comes with a heavy duty tow cable... you just have to be careful to follow routes where there are no bridges to drive under, otherwise the kids go sailing off on a balloon ride ! :-D

Cynthia, I agree, chances of surviving a collision with an SUV or truck are probably low. I'd stick to Paris Intra-muros if I had to drive one of these...

Lydia, I think you're right, the best part about one of these would be washing it for the neighbors to admire... it would make a neat lawn ornament maybe ? Will try to get some Air Show stuff up shortly... although finally I didn't do all that many photos in the show...but there will be a couple coming... stop back soon...

Bill, a regular Chitty Chitty Bang Bang deal... yeah, that would have been fun to see for sure...

Owen said...

Hey Watercats, hope your gig goes great this weekend. Wow, so Ronald actually saw these out and about ??? I wonder how far back that goes, not that I want any discrete info about peoples ages divulged or anything... :-D

Tracy, not at all, I thought your pencil shots were fun, and it was strange, I'd just stumbled on that other pencil art by chance the other day, so it was fresh in my association prone mind... but that's the fun of blogging, all the crazy paths it leads one down... thanks for stopping in here...

Rain, yes indeed, a tricycle of sorts, and certainly cartoonish, like right out of the Flintstones or something like that, or the Jetsons maybe ???

Silke, you're more than welcome, and do come back, the coffee's always on, one day at a time... the question about top speed was answered by Laurie here...

English R., Oh dear, I hope he managed to catch a bus or something to some place where there were some rental cars... it's true, people come in from all over the world for the air show. Yeah, very much like a cockpit on one of the fighter planes Messerschmitt was so well known for... would be fun to try driving it just once in a safe place just to see what kind of gumption it has...

Lone Grey, you are more than welcome, we aim to please in these parts...

Margaret, well, I'm not sure I'd want to be the crash-test dummy in one of these... and I just hope SUVs are gone when we do have to start driving cars this size... Hummers and things like that eat these for snacks...

Jeff, tout à fait, un coléoptère pour atterir sur tes pavots et coquelicots... très belle la couleur rouge ici, non ? Le mieux serait de la conduire dans l'arene d'Arles pendant que les taureaux courent... tu imagines quand ils voient ce rouge ??? Un taureau court à combien de km/heure ??? J'espère qu'elle est assez rapide la petite bolide... :-D whew, besoin d'une tis-ane...

Nadege, couldn't agree more...

Laurie, hey, thanks for the link to the info, I hadn't gotten around to trying to look anything up yet. Can't believe you actually rode in one once... what a trip that must have been. So you can actually get two people in it ? Does it have like, a rumble seat in the rear ? Not sure I'd want to go 65 mph in something this little... but great mileage ! Detroit could learn something here maybe...

Marguerite, if everyone had cars like this, the lanes on freeways could be narrower, you could probably get twice as many lanes in, so maybe less traffic jams ? Sounds like you too have had enough of SUVs...

Owen said...

Hey Diana, didn't know Smart had made it across the ocean. Well, I wonder what other colors this came in ??? Canary yellow might be nice too ?

Hi Clo ! voir réponse à Steve ici, je pense qu'il y a un balon d'air chaude qui va avec (que l'on tire par un cable) pour transporter les momes et bagages etc ??? Très mignonne en tout cas...

louciao said...

Was there a large wind-up key on the back of it?

the watercats said...

centuries... :-D

the watercats said...

Although he may have been tripping at the time and he could quite easily have imagined it...

Adrian LaRoque said...

Man... this is great, I remember well this vehicles.

Everycat said...

Mmmm lovely. In the Uk we call them Bubble Cars, BMW made one too, it also came with a tiny caravan to tow behind it. The Haynes Museum near Yeovil has some WONDERFUL examples of these great little cars.

WW

The Sagittarian said...

Oh dear, the language barrier gets me into trouble again! A "hoon" dear Owen is usually a very enthusiastic lad with bugger all care for the rules! I'll count you in then eh?

Owen said...

Oh dear me, some folks slipped some more comments in here...when I was no doubt snoring away...

Sag... count me in, I'm a HOON ! (honk if you're a hoon !)

Lynne, no need for a wind up key at the back, this thing did not have a motor, it just had bicycle pedals connected by a chain to the back axel... so the top speed was only limited by how hard you could pedal !

Watercats, Oh dear, I'm not sure what one might have been tripping on centuries ago... although I do remember reading that the origin of the chemical molecule that LSD was synthesized from is actually a form of mold that grew on a certain kind of rye bread, some of Napoleon's soldiers apparently reported hallucinations, and their leader certainly had delusions of grandeur ! Hmm, or maybe that's not what you meant by "tripping" ?

Everycat... (any relation to watercats ?) oh boy, would love to see that tiny caravan, guess you'd need one if you even had so much as a rucksack to bring on the trip... guess they really are museum pieces. Thanks for dropping in !

Adrian, wow, where did you see them ? Not in the states ?

Adam said...

I saw someone driving it at the show - and he had a passenger with him in there!

Owen said...

Adam, that's amazing, I hope they were both skinny and no BO ! :-D
I only saw it parked there...