Hand Built Micro Oddball: 1958 Jenelle

jenelle 2

Check out this oddball custom built 1958 Jenelle Micro car! This micro car was originally created in California and supposedly spent some time at Disney Land. This small “car” is a lot to take in when imagining that it was street legal, the photos even show it with a license plate. The style is interesting and we love custom built cars from the “golden age” of custom automobiles. The seller is asking $2,350 for this interesting hand built micro car. Find it here on craigslist out of Kerrville, Texas.

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The 1950’s were a part of the Great American awakening with the automobile. We needed speed, and we wanted interesting car styling and custom bodies. Many Americans began to see the possibilities of the automobile after World War II. Many service men, were abroad and saw interesting and different cars that they otherwise would not have seen. Plenty of servicemen worked on engines of all types, and performed other mechanical services that were relatable to automobiles. Many who returned had the skills to modify and build the car of their dreams. The builder of this Jenelle was certainly a dreamer.

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Once you get over the shock of this Jenelle being a street legal car, you can start to see there is a little bit of style to this tiny car. Construction consists entirely of steel. The seller has mentioned the use of Crosley parts, which makes sense, but also there appears to be some Cadillac components as well. The first glance of the Jenelle brings to mind a classic Bellytank racer. The nose of the car is a nicely shaped piece, warehousing the 8 horsepower Wisconsin air-cooled engine. The front seat is curved similar to that of the nose giving a pleasing finish to the shape. Then there are the fins, they are small but they are there and, they certainly make a statement.

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The seller explains he purchased it from the son of the creator. We love stories like this! The seller has also explained some possible ties to Disney Land and has also mentioned that there are many photos and slides of the car from its hay day. This Jenelle looks to be in fair shape looking to mainly need paint. It would be a fun and interesting restoration, which would receive a lot of attention at car events. We love to see custom cars like this with history and photos. It is an interesting piece that now may not be so safe on public roads, but it’s interesting to see into the mind of the builder through examining this interesting small car.

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What could be done with this Jenelle? We think it would be neat to see it restored and placed in a museum. Or perhaps you live in a town with many parades and a ton of active Shriners looking for a small oddball? If you are a Racer, it could be a neat pit bike or should we say golf cart? What do you think should be the fate of this interesting micro car?

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Comments

  1. Scotty Staff

    Fantastic! I wonder if it’s a modified King Midget Model 1? http://www.microcarmuseum.com/tour/images/kingmidget1-00.jpg

    They also had a Wisconsin engine. The front cowl looks like it may be two rear fenders welded together?

    If it is a King Midget Model 1, it may be worth restoring back to that configuration because there are less than 10 of them known to exist. I bet a lot of them ended up being custom projects like this one. Very cool find!

    • James HGF

      The King Midget Series 1 was smaller, lighter with a frame that might have appealed to termites. It was made of wood. The full Microcar Museum 1949 Series 1 page with seven photos:

      http://www.microcarmuseum.com/tour/kingmidget1.html

      Speaking..er writing of wood framed cars how many remember the Mechanix Illustrated Speedball design from the September 1956 issue. The frame rails were 2×4 Oak, but they were not simple straight rails. Curved thanks to compression by way of a bumper jack and a stout rope.

      The original had mahogany planking, an Ariel Square Four engine and used Renault 4CV suspension components. An impressive homebuilt roadster. The plans and cover photo are in this 14 page article:

      http://blog.modernmechanix.com/build-your-own-mahogany-sports-car/

      Who will build a 2016 iteration more or less following the original plans?

  2. David C

    Pretty cool. We actually have a town here in Georgia where the majority of the people that live there get around by golf cart. The town has about 100 miles of “golf cart only” pathways. The first time you visit Peachtree City is a shock to see all the golf carts everywhere. We just recently had another city to encourage it’s residents to travel within the city by golf cart.

  3. Cassidy

    Riding lawnmower?

    • Francisco

      …without mower deck, useless

      • Cassidy

        Solid steel construction; you will need all 8 horses just to get it going, I have no idea how it was ever licensed for the street! I don’t know if it could even get out of its own way. I do like the idea of using it in a golf cart community, I’m a rebel like that. All those nice quiet electric carts and then here comes this bad boy… don’t even paint it, rev it to the max and grin the whole way. Might look good with a rebel flag flying from the back bumper too

  4. Zenaldo

    Looks like 2 rear pickup fenders welded together for the front hood…a lot of man hours went into this project for sure..would be cool in any golf community really..

  5. Dale

    The body is constructed out of Cadillac fenders, it has no prefab componets other than Crosley axles. It has a California (spncs) title and has its original set of plates.
    My ad expired, It is still available in Kerrville Texas price is $3250 (not $2350)
    Dale 979-218-4409

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