Select Page

>Small cars are back in style, thanks to gas prices that peaked at $4 per gallon last year, and the additional power, style and comfort manufacturers have been able to pack into new models like the Ford Fiesta and Audi A3 TDI clean diesel, named Green Car of the Year by the Detroit News.  Perhaps these will be tomorrow’s classics.  Yesterday’s icons are on display at a very small car show in Chicago, the Tres Petite Concours: An Exhibition of Micro & Minicars.

The car show takes over the 900 block of West Armitage Avenue, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, the weekend of July 17 and 18, 2010.   The show features microcars and minicars from the 1950s and 1960s including the iconic BMW Isetta, a three-wheel vehicle with a single door that opened in the front, in front of the driver and passenger.  Another car being featured is the Fiat Cinquecento, the inspiration for the Luigi character in the wonderful animated film Cars.  And the Citroen Deux Chevaux, also known as the 2CV.

Fiat Cinquecento, inspiration for Luigi in “Cars” Movie

The Tres Petite Concours will also exhibit current small cars, including the Smartfortwo and the Mini Cooper, as well as a  car of the future, an electric small car called the X-Car.  Cars can be viewed around-the-clock from a sneak preview beginng 6 p.m. Friday, July 16 through 4 p.m. Sunday, July 18.  Best of all, you can view the cars for free, since they are parked on public streets.

The Tres Petite Concours is sponsored by The LeMay – America’s Car Museum and Vintage Microcar Club and Clean Tools. The event producer has the absolutely perfect name of Teeny Tiny Productions.  Visitors will be invited to vote for their favorite car. Voting makes you eligible for a raffle drawing.  The prize is a microcar and a driver for 4-6 hours.  Sounds like fun. There’s also a best in show award, as there always is in car shows.

Just so you know — The definition of a microcar is a passenger car with a 500cc or smaller engine.  Minicars are 501cc to 999cc.

BMW just announced it will manufacture an all-electric city car, the 21st century version of the Isetta, called Megacity.  The BMW plug-in EV Megacity is scheduled to arrive in 2013.

Guest Blogger: Evelyn Kanter