Morris Motor Company was started in the 1920s and established a reputation for reliable family cars. In the 1950s, Morris merged with its old rival Austin to form British Motor Corp. Economic factors in the UK in the mid-1950s made the creation of “a proper miniature car” a priority, and BMC assigned a small team of designers to the task.
This model, the APB (All-Purpose Bicycle), was designed to bring the Moulton line to a larger market achieved by using off-the-shelf components rather than the custom tires, wheels, and inner tubes found on the original Moultons.
In 1926, Max Williams-Mourlot created “Mourlot & Cie” to manufacture small cyclecars. The company was established in Billancourt, France with hopes to fill the gap between the simplicity of a motorcycle and the size and complexity of a larger automobile.
In the late 1890s, Joseph Martin set up bicycle manufacturing in Lyon, France, and sub-contracting wheels for automobiles and aircraft landing gear during the first war. Joseph’s son, Paul, had become an aircraft engineer during the war and afterward ventured into the world of motorcycling.
The Be-1 was the first of the “Pike Factory” cars. It created quite a stir at the 1985 Tokyo Motor Show. The public loved the retro styling, and when the order taking process began, all of the planned 10,000 Be-1’s were spoken for in just a few days.
The Nissan S-Cargo was first shown at the 1987 Tokyo Motor Show. From 1989 until 1992, only about 8,000 were produced. The small size but tall cargo area made it an ideal delivery vehicle in urban areas, with payload limited to 660 pounds.