If you thought that Maruti 800 was India’s original small car, then think again! Much before Maruti 800 and Tata Nano, a small car running on three wheels existed in India. Belonging to an era when Indian car fraternity was nowhere on the global map, this micro car made history as being the first Indian micro-car. The three-wheeled car was named after the defunct ‘Scootacar’ company established in 1971 at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. Carrying a nameplate as iconic as its looks, this bubble car as the name suggests seems to be cross between scooter and car (somewhat like the Honda Navi which is a new-age example of a cross between a scooter and a bike).
More commonly known as the bubble car, currently only 5 examples of this iconic vehicle are left in India. Thankfully, one of the five units has been restored by an auto enthusiast. Pictures – DC Design’s Modified Toyota Innova Crysta Lounge
Originally belonging to Germany, the Scootacar was sold under Fuldamobil nameplate in the 1950s by Elecktromaschinenbau Fulda GmbH. Interestingly, it was a three-wheeled car and India got the hard-top version with fibreglass body. The three-wheeler car was assembled in India with additional body parts. Check Out – The Bizzare Transformation of Force Gurkha into a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen
Power on this three-wheeler came from the 175cc, two-stroke, single cylinder Villiers engine that made insignificant output of 7.5bhp. The engine was essentially sourced from Royal Enfield Fantabulous scooter. It ran on wheels from Bajaj autorikshaw while glass was borrowed from AtulTuf and the headlamps were taken from Lambretta scooter. Other bits like number plate and electrical switches came from Hindustan Ambassador and Anchor respectively.
The restored car was found in disarray and given a new lease of life. With all the research work and new parts used on the deserted body shell, it looks no less than a vintage piece from the 1960s.
Image Courtesy – Teambhp