Microcars 2021

08 November 2021 - 06 August 2022 | 5 min read | venue: Powerhouse Museum | cost: Free | address: 500 Harris Street, Ultimo NSW 2007

published: 06 Nov 2021

Microcars hit their peak popularity in the years directly after WWII when factories in Germany and Italy, no longer making military aircraft, re-tooled to meet another demand: freedom - now cheap and available to the masses.

Tiny, economical cars were perfect for this environment. Using scooter engines, and super-light bodies, Messerschmitt, BMW, Heinkel, and Lambretta popularised the microcar. Their appealing (if cramped) aesthetic soon spread across the world: Britain, Japan, and Australia all created versions of the microcar. Most notably in Australia the Goggomobil Dart and the most versatile of microcars, the Zeta Runabout.

Made in South Australia, the Zeta Runabout was designed by engineer and entrepreneur Harold Lightburn in 1964. His company, Lightburn and Co, made wheelbarrows and washing machines and it was their success in the use of lightweight fibreglass that led them to design a small car using that material. Taking note of the shortcomings of other microcars - mainly the lack of any storage space - Lightburn gave the Runabout actual luggage space.

This exhibition will feature microcars from the Powerhouse Collection and a selection of loans from notable Australian collectors. It will also examine contemporary electric and hybrid microcars such as the Renault Twizzy and the Smartcar now seeing a resurgence due to the damaging impact large petrol engine vehicles are having on our world.

Microcars 2021

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when: 08 November 2021 - 06 August 2022
start time/end time: Every day, 10am to 5pm | Friday 5 November to Sunday 7 August 2022
venue: Powerhouse Museum
city/suburb: ultimo-nsw-australia

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Summary: Microcars 2021

08 November 2021 - 06 August 2022 | 5 min read | venue: Powerhouse Museum | cost: Free | address: 500 Harris Street, Ultimo NSW 2007

Microcars 2021 in plain text

Microcars 2021 | 08 Nov 2021 - 06 Aug 2022 | 5 min read | venue: Powerhouse Museum | cost: Free Microcars hit their peak popularity in the years directly after WWII when factories in Germany and Italy, no longer making military aircraft, re-tooled to meet another demand: freedom - now cheap and available to the masses. Tiny, economical cars were perfect for this environment. Using scooter engines, and super-light bodies, Messerschmitt, BMW, Heinkel, and Lambretta popularised the microcar. Their appealing (if cramped) aesthetic soon spread across the world: Britain, Japan, and Australia all created versions of the microcar. Most notably in Australia the Goggomobil Dart and the most versatile of microcars, the Zeta Runabout.Made in South Australia, the Zeta Runabout was designed by engineer and entrepreneur Harold Lightburn in 1964. His company, Lightburn and Co, made wheelbarrows and washing machines and it was their success in the use of lightweight fibreglass that led them to design a small car using that material. Taking note of the shortcomings of other microcars - mainly the lack of any storage space - Lightburn gave the Runabout actual luggage space.This exhibition will feature microcars from the Powerhouse Collection and a selection of loans from notable Australian collectors. It will also examine contemporary electric and hybrid microcars such as the Renault Twizzy and the Smartcar now seeing a resurgence due to the damaging impact large petrol engine vehicles are having on our world.

Microcars 2021 Html formatted

Microcars hit their peak popularity in the years directly after WWII when factories in Germany and Italy, no longer making military aircraft, re-tooled to meet another demand: freedom - now cheap and available to the masses.

Tiny, economical cars were perfect for this environment. Using scooter engines, and super-light bodies, Messerschmitt, BMW, Heinkel, and Lambretta popularised the microcar. Their appealing (if cramped) aesthetic soon spread across the world: Britain, Japan, and Australia all created versions of the microcar. Most notably in Australia the Goggomobil Dart and the most versatile of microcars, the Zeta Runabout.

Made in South Australia, the Zeta Runabout was designed by engineer and entrepreneur Harold Lightburn in 1964. His company, Lightburn and Co, made wheelbarrows and washing machines and it was their success in the use of lightweight fibreglass that led them to design a small car using that material. Taking note of the shortcomings of other microcars - mainly the lack of any storage space - Lightburn gave the Runabout actual luggage space.

This exhibition will feature microcars from the Powerhouse Collection and a selection of loans from notable Australian collectors. It will also examine contemporary electric and hybrid microcars such as the Renault Twizzy and the Smartcar now seeing a resurgence due to the damaging impact large petrol engine vehicles are having on our world.