Theme : Secondhand – Forecourt Temptations 4

DTW Asks If Small Is Really Beautiful?

Chatenet CH26B

This is one of a bewildering variety of French microcars. I assume it is one owner since it has covered just 11,887 km. That seems modest until you realise that the Chatenet is powered by a 5.4 hp 523cc twin cylinder diesel giving it a maximum speed of 45 kph. Someone therefore has sat in this car and driven it for at least 264 hours.

That is the equivalent of over two weeks of one’s waking life. Does the vague looks-a-bit-like-a-mini styling help this masochistic enterprise? For 9,999 Euros, you could find a very nice Renault 4, but that of course is not the point. Microcars are the French equivalent of UK three wheelers, they are produced for people who cannot, or will not, pass their car driving test. That makes them even more terrifying.

View It Here.

Chatenet CH26A

5 thoughts on “Theme : Secondhand – Forecourt Temptations 4”

  1. I think quite a few people who buy and drive these cars have actually had their licence suspended…

    1. A good point Laurent. I’d forgotten about all those grey painted speed cameras and the 0.5 mg per ml drink/drive limit. Thinking of which I just looked and see that the UK stands out with just Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta as having the highest 0.8 mg drink/drive limit in Europe. Not wishing to raise the hackles of the (apparent) majority of my countrypeople who are just itching to vote to get out of Europe, but shouldn’t we really step in line?

  2. An interesting market: cars for DUI offenders and epileptics. I think these vehicles look better when they try to avoid looking faster than they are. Here in Denmark where the weather is vile, there are vehicles that three wheel scooters with a full cabin. They eerily look a bit like transparent Daleks. I suppose a Dalek looks that big because it must contain an actor. You see these tall oblong perspex boxes out in the country with very old people inside them.

    1. Yes, trying to make them look like hot hatches seems both silly and a wasted opportunity. Possibly the Tour De France caravan could provide inspiration with, for example, giant croque-monsieurs which you could get sponsored by your local cafe.

  3. The market for these cars seems to have exploded in the last few years in France, possibly because of the arrival of the points-based driving licences. Once you’ve lost your 12 points it’s either that or the no 36 bus. They’re frighteningly expensive, even on the second-hand market and quite sought after. I find it funny because often they use the headlights and rearlights of regular cars but they’re obviously too big for their tiny bodies which makes for really odd creations.

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