Pocketful of dreams: 5 micro cars you’ll want to collect

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Even James Bond might need the Cygnet for maneuvering through London traffic | Aston Martin photo
Even James Bond might need the Cygnet for maneuvering through London traffic | Aston Martin photo

The best catalog I’ve ever seen for a classic car auction was the one a pre-Sotheby’s RM did in 2013 for the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum sale. Not only were the cars small, but so was the catalog. Well, it was small in page size — a nice reflection of the cars on offer — but it was brick-thick in depth and good humor. It was downright delightful and someday will be collectible in its own right.

Fiat 500 Abarth shows its spunk on its way to collectible status | FCA photo
Fiat 500 Abarth shows its spunk on its way to collectible status | FCA photo

As a quick review, Bruce Weiner spent 15 years collecting micro cars from around the world and the auction at his museum in Madison, Georgia, drew an astounding number of collectors — some curious, some serious — who bid up the 200 mini automobiles and nearly 300 lots of automobilia offered to the tune of $9.1 million.

Most of the cars were produced in Europe in the 1950s, when a post-war world worked to put people back on the road, even if it was in small, three- or four-wheeled bubbles powered by scooter engines.

But fast forward a few decades and there was a resurgence in micro cars, which means that someday down the road, there will be another bidding war for the what we might term the Millennial Microcars produced around the time the calendar turned from the 20th to the 21st century.

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Here are five cars we think will be the subject of bidding battles at that future auction:

Color:
Connie Moffett & Tom Pharr’s 1933 Studebaker coupe


Ford:
Tim & Chris Lies’ 1956 Ford Ranch Wagon
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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Yuck! Design is everything for a micro car, and none of them have an engine under 1 liter. You forgot the Subaru Justy.

  2. What about the classic ones, this article started with reference to the Georgia auction that put the spotlight on Izettas.
    What about them, Fiats like the 850, original Minis, Austins etc.
    aren’t these collectible too? Seems like this story was written in a room with no contact to the outside world.

  3. I didn’t forget about the Justy. I actually owned one! But this is a list of more recent vehicles that might be crossing auction blocks somewhere down the road.

  4. Unfortunately it is looking like the passion for anything “older” (especially automobile related) is on the way out and collecting in the future will be non-existent.

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