Funky Cars

smart passion cabrio and Pontiac Fiero

Back before The FutureĀ™ (and a certain amount of cocaine) car designer John DeLorean came up with the idea for the Pontiac Fiero, an inexpensive two-seater that got the green light despite initial misgivings by executives because a market opened up for a car with good fuel economy during the late ’70s fuel crisis.

My father admired them at the time, and he got a silver one from mom as a silver anniversary present a few years after they hit the market. I think it’s the only new car they’ve ever bought. I guess I come by my taste for oddball cars naturally; about the time he got the Fiero, I got Dad’s AMC Pacer. (Despite what it may look like from the photo, the Fiero’s five feet longer than the smart, with 20 more inches in the wheelbase, although it’s about 15 inches shorter, vertically.)

Here are a couple of other small vehicles Dad and I spotted in Congledon, Cheshire, England last fall. The Ford StreetKa (no longer in production):

Ford StreetKa in Congledon, England

And a Daihatsu Copen. Oooh! 87hp!

Daihatsu Copen in Congledon, England

Why the hell aren’t people bringing these things into the States?