Long before electric hybrids there were small cars with small efficient engines. On August 11, an event called The Little Car Show got underway in Pacific Grove, ahead of the big Concours d’Elegance at nearby Pebble Beach. Unlike the aforementioned, the Little Car Show is free.
Many of these classic small cars have better fuel efficiency ratings than modern hybrid vehicles.
Among the tiniest drawing a crowd was a Tiger Messerschmitt it has a fuel consumption of 6.5 and 7.9 l/100 km. Other cars include the Austin Healey Bugeye Sprites which has a fuel consumption of 43 miles per imperial gallon (6.6 L/100 km; 36 mpg-US). There were also a couple of late ’60s Citroen 2CV6 which can travel 100 km on 3 L of gasoline (78 MPG).
There were several American-made Crosley’s, they get 50 miles per US gallon (4.7 L/100 km; 60 mpg). Several American Austins were also present, including a beige Bantam.
The founding of the American Austin Car Company offers lessons for the car companies of today. Over 80 years ago, Sir Herbert Austin looked at America and realized that the US needed a small economy car instead of the big fuel burning cars that were prevalent. That vision was responsible for the manufacturing of approximately 20,000 American Austins between 1930-1935. In 1935 the company was reorganized under the name American Bantam. The Bantam has an astounding fuel efficiency rating of 100 mpg which is twice the fuel efficiency of the world leading Toyota Prius Hybrid.
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