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.
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.
Designed in Finland and built in China, the Norster 600R seen here may look like, and even drive like, a normal passenger car but it is actually registered in Europe as a “heavy quad” (All Terrain Vehicle in the US).
In the 1950s, NSU was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. Management was still looking into the future, and was concerned that small cars were going to replace the motorcycle as a means of transport.
While the NSU Prinz 1, 2, and 3 were inexpensive, economical cars, they were not considered stylish. NSU realized that if they sought to sell small cars in volume numbers they needed a car with a more appealing style.