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#209, Author Russell Hayes showcases tiny cars in big book

The Crosley, made in Cincinnati, Ohio, is featured in the Big Book of Tiny Cars.

Veteran automotive author Russell Hayes is at it again. His latest book, “The Big Book of Tiny Cars” was recently published. It’s a definitive look at the global industry of the most famous and infamous microcars and subcompacts from 1901 to current models.

Hayes, who lives and works in London, England, is a repeat guest on The Weekly Driver Podcast. He first joined co-host Bruce Aldrich and me on Episode #153 last October 2020 to discuss all things Volkswagen.

Tiny Cars: All Shapes, Sizes

During Episode #209, Hayes discusses his latest offering and his enjoyment of researching American brands and styles like the Crosley Super Sport to the German BMW Isetta.

According to the book’s marketing information, more than 100 vehicles are included. Each vehicle’s history is detailed. Archival photography and modern-day images in a fact box are also provided for each selection.

Sub-titled “A Century of Diminutive Automotive Oddities,” the 176-page volume includes 250 color and black-and-white photos, and vintage advertisements. Microcars, minicars, bubble cars, Kei cars, subcompacts and compacts are all featured. Rarities include Hanomag Kommissbrot, Bond Minicar and Sebring Vanguard Citicar.

Russell Hayes is the author of the Big Book of Tiny Cars.
Russell Hayes is the author of the Big Book of Tiny Cars.

The book is divided into nine sections: New Babies (1900-1939), Not Much Motoring (1940s), The Microcar Bubble (1950s), The Bubble Has Burst (1960s), The Supermini ERA (1970s), Econoboxes and Hatchbacks (1980s), Smaller and Smarter (1990s) and Your Pod Or Mine? (2010s and Beyond).

“Supplanting the rickety cyclecars of the early 1900s, we began with the best-selling diminutive prewar cars such as the Peugeot Bebe, Austin Seven and American Crosley,” writes Hayes. “We then ride the wave of tiny cars in the fuel-deprived, postwar Europe, such as the cult-classic Messerschmitt and BMW Isetta bubble cars . . .”

More modern vehicles such as the reimagined Mini Cooper and Fiat 500 and the SmartCar are also included.

Please join Bruce and me as we absorb the author’s expertise snd take a fascinating look into the world of the sometimes minuscule motor machines.

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