Super Mini: 1978 ACOMA Super Comtesse

I’ve always wondered why such a tall guy like myself loves small cars so much. I say that too often but here we go again, I can’t help myself. This 1978 Super Comtesse, all 5.5-feet of it, can be found here on Craigslist in Palm Beach, Florida. The seller is asking $12,500 for this little gem. And the part about flying in and driving it home, I hope that you have a lot of time on your hands. Thanks to Roger for another great find!

I’m a foot taller than this car is but I still would love to have it for the living room. I mean, for the collection. The Super Comtesse was an updated, bigger, and more stable version of the Mini Comtesse. Some of you may remember the Mini Comtesse from an American Pickers episode. They were both made in France by ACOMA and, in 1978, the Super Comtesse was their first four-wheel vehicle. It also had hydraulic brakes instead of cable brakes, a nice upgrade. The one that I really (really) want, is the Comtesse Break, now that’s cool!

I know that these aren’t the safest thing to drive on the street, and obviously they weren’t meant for freeways, but that always comes up for some reason. They were made for folks who – are you sitting down? – may not have licenses, voiture sans permis – in order to take advantage of France’s “L-Category”. No, really. Could you even imagine that in the US today? Drivers here are bad enough with driver’s licenses! (everyone but me, of course)…

There is no word on the operating condition of this Super Comtesse other than on the right side of the listing where “condition: like new” is marked. It sure looks great other than some wear in the rubber flooring from heel-and-toeing this baby. The engine should be an air-cooled 48 cc Motobecane type 99Z engine. I know, cool, eh?! Think of how slow your son or daughter’s moped is and imagine it pulling this 500-pound car around with you in it, that 20-25 mph top speed will probably feel like.. 27 mph, especially on corners. That extra wheel in front will be your saving grace as you go for the g-force record. Have any of you seen a Super Comtesse?

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Comments

  1. Pat Lamb

    Like this…..

    11
    • adam

      I wouldn’t feel safe on a golf course with this car. I’m sure a golf cart is safer and would fair better in a collision with this tiny car

      • Pat lamb

        Ha ha

  2. Dan

    No thanks….my John Deere mower is bigger than that thing…

  3. Calvin S

    I confused…
    It looks like it has 4 pedals and room for 2…

  4. King Brude

    Looks like a motorised traffic cone….

    15
  5. Charles Gould

    We have the three wheeled version of the Super Comtessa in this same color. They really are cool little cars and fun to drive, but we just don’t use ours much anymore.
    On the three wheeled version, the engine, transmission, muffler and chain drive to the single front wheel are all mounted on the front forks, and steers with the single front wheel, which turns almost ninety degrees, so the car can turn circles in its own footprint.

  6. Kenneth Carney

    If this thing was an EV, I’d be all over it!
    For somemoe with a sight impairment
    like myself, this would be a godsend.
    I’d use it for short hops around town
    and to places I needed to go without
    having to ask a family member for a
    ride. Here in Florida, you can operate
    a motor vehicle without a driver’s
    license if the engine size is less than
    49cc, or the top speed is 25 MPH or
    less. Making the car an EV would have
    the advantage of getting around after
    the storm knocks out the power. Just
    attatch a solar panel to the roof and
    trickle charge the car while you drive
    it. Then it might qualify as a mobility
    scooter. Either way you go, you’ll be
    the talk of the town!

    • Charles Gould

      My three wheeled Super Comtessa is 49cc so it would qualify for your Florida exemption. I suppose that this four wheeler uses the same 49cc engine.

    • Bob

      The notion that one can operate a motor vehicle in Florida without a driver’s license as long as it is 49 CC or less is a common one, but it is wrong.
      Florida law requires a driver’s license for ALL motor vehicles, regardless of engine size. The 49 CC-or-less issue issue only pertains to a motorcycle endorsement on the driver’s license.
      So–driver’s license WITH motorcycle endorsement required for anything 50 CC and above, driver’s license BUT NO motorcycle endorsement required for less than 50 CC.

      • Chas Gould

        That’s makes much more sense for Florida and for the states.
        However, the “sans permit” cars can be driven on public roads without a license in France.
        These are used by young drivers or elderly who don’t have a license or even by drivers who lost their license for drunk driving.
        I guess that they figure that if you hit a pedestrian in a car like this, the pedestrian may fare better than the driver.
        So, buy this Acoma Super Comtessa and move to Pariis!

  7. Mike

    Looks like something that the guys in DEVO would drive.

  8. Coventrycat

    Had a shop teacher in the 70’s almost 7 feet tall, drove a MG Midget. Go figure.

  9. Ralph

    How many pedals are needed to operate this thing?

    • Chas

      I’m stumped by the pedals too. Mine only has gas and brake as it uses a centrifugal clutch.

      • rod444

        I believe the two on the right are just dead pedals for the passenger to use for footrests.

        Either that or assisting with pumping power to make it up hills.

  10. Urquiola

    For $12’500, you could probably build one or two similar to the ‘Mini Comtesse’ from scratch!
    You may like reading: ‘A car made of concrete -And it works!’, The Indian Concrete Journal, Oct 2004, pp 43-44. (Innovative Concrete)

  11. MikeH

    One of the reasons these “sans permis” cars sold so well in France is that they were used as delivery vehicles in congested cities like Paris where traffic didn’t move at much more than 20mph anyway. Back in the day when small stores still delivered, you could buy one of these for little money and hire a 14 year old delivery “boy” to drive it. Much less expensive than buying a real car and using a real employee. And, you could almost always find a parking place.

  12. RITON

    The Motobecane 99Z engine is a very interesting 2 stroke :
    http://lotus16.forumactif.org/t1537-motobecane-99z-et-contre-piston

    You have a second piston attached to the crankshaft.

  13. RITON

    Oh and price is crazy!

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