I have a love-hate relationship with the car. I am grateful for the autonomy that it offers me. And, as a functional object, I marvel at those vehicles that are well-designed and efficient. But I loathe the beastly, gas-guzzling monstrosities that lately seem to rule the road. These miniature vehicles are commonly referred to as Microcars or Bubble Cars, and (as I have just discovered) they have cult status. They came about as an outgrowth of post WWII ingenuity paired with the need to give mobility to the populations of Europe. The scarcity of materials and resources at that time created the perfect conditions and limitations for the birth of these teeny cars. Some of them are so small that they don’t even have a reverse gear. Instead, they have a handle on the rear end so that you can get out of the car, lift it up and actually turn it around. Sometime in the near future I hope to find myself in Atlanta (I’ve never heard anyone say that!) on my way to the Microcar Museum so that I can get a full dose of these diminutive machines.