Smaller Than A Mini: 1975 Acoma Mini Comtesse

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What the heck is this? A French barn find micro car in the UK that has not 3, not 4, but 5 wheels! The Acoma Mini Comtesse was produced from approximately 1974 to 1984, with this particular car being a 1975. It’s located in Billingham, Cleveland, UK and is for sale here on eBay UK where bidding is currently below 1,000 pounds but hasn’t yet met reserve.

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As you can see, this is a truly tiny automobile! That’s a regular door on the right hand side and a gull wing door on the left. The Comtesse also has outrigger wheels to prevent Clarksonesque Reliant tip-overs. I have no idea if they are successful or not. Here’s a video of one being driven to give you an idea of what we’re talking about. Apparently mufflers weren’t a priority in the design! Parking, on the other hand, is world-class!

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Apparently these little vehicles could be driven without a license in France in the 1970’s, which caused a boom in this type of car. By some accounts, Acoma ended up with 30% of the market and supposedly sold 3500 vehicles in 1979.

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Needless to say, accommodations are pretty sparce. The seller says that it has a two-speed automatic with just a gas pedal and brake. There is a parking brake handle to the right of the driver’s seat. I think the last golf cart I drove was more comfortable looking!

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49 cc, single cylinder powering the front center wheel. Based on the width of that front tire, I wouldn’t want to depend on it for traction! Eventually the company produced a four wheeled version with a 125 cc engine but this is the original configuration. I just can’t imagine wanting one of these when they were new–and we won’t even talk about crash protection or comfort! But I guess if that’s the only way I could drive a vehicle, I’d consider it. How about you?

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Comments

  1. Blueprint

    The origin of the Falcon door revealed!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Ok, I laughed for a good 30 seconds after reading this! Not only that, but Blueprint is right!

  2. bcavileer

    Spot on. Love it. Good eye!

  3. Scotty G Staff

    If it wouldn’t be $3,000 in shipping costs to get this to the US, it would be very, very tempting. Nice find!

    • brakeservo

      I’m sure you can have it shipped for much less than $3,000 – contact an agent for Wallenius Wilhelmsen and ask about shipping it ro-ro (not in a container) – you should be pleasantly surprised. I shipped dozens and dozens of cars out of Southampton, UK that way and never had a problem nor did any of my cars sustain damage.

      • Scotty G Staff

        Thanks for the insider info, brakeservo!

  4. brakeservo

    Looks big next to a Peel 50 though . . .

  5. Burns Rafferty

    Drove one of these last summer, It had a serious problem getting up a slight incline.

    • Judy Lehmer

      In other words, it wouldn’t be good for the mountains.

  6. Glen

    Something Mr. Bean would drive! It makes my Nissan Micra ,( I don’t think Micras’ are available in the States.) look huge.

  7. Fred W.

    Also known as the “American Pickers Clown Car”…

    • JW454

      Any pictures of Mike Wolfe sitting in one of these. That’d be a hoot!

  8. Dougm

    For really entertaining hour check out a hilarious study of Micro cars I found in this series on Amazon prime;
    “James May’s Cars of the People

    Series 1 Episode 2, 17 August 2014
    James look back at the history of the Microcar; puts a Citroen 2CV and a Renault 4 to the test to see which is the most bulletproof; and participates in a race between a Honda Super Cub and a Japanese sports car to see which can deliver noodles faster.”

  9. brakeservo

    There is apparently at least one of these in Tucson, Az.but I don’t know if it’s for sale – look at the photos for this Corvette on Craigslist in Tucson and you’ll see another one of these micro-cars in the background of at least two pictures!
    http://tucson.craigslist.org/cto/5598112581.html

  10. nico

    how was it detirmed as a 1975? what’s the chassisnumber of the eb2?

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