2015 April Fool's Special

Mazda Familia Sport 4

Mazda Familia Sport 4

The problem with writing about these wild cars each day is that there are often vehicles so obscure that it's difficult to find information on them. A story could be tucked away in Polish history textbooks, web servers owned by descendants of Russian Czars, or in the patent filings of Third World nations. 

I've been racking my brain for months on how to present April Fool's…do I make up a car? Do I write something really strange? Write about a normal car? 

Meh. The readers of #bcotd deserve more than that. So I'm pulling back the curtain a bit: here are 10 vehicles I haven't been able to find enough information on to write a story about. If you can help, well, send me a note or leave a comment. Thank you…and here's to nearly a year of #bcotd!

Mazda Familia Sport 4: Mazda's stillborn Group. A prototype. Carbon fibre body panels, more power, and, of course, probably a street version. The ultimate 323…and were there multiple examples made—there appears to have been both red and black (top) prototypes made.

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Kapi Platillo Volante: The little three-wheeled machine seen on the lower left. Villiers engine, 175cc…but I really wish I knew what "Kapi" was and who started it!

Clúa 500-cc: This photo is from the user MrScharroo's Weird Car Museum on Flickr. His post on the car says the following:

The Clúa is a roadster that was introduced in 1957 by Mechanical Clúa Construcciones S. L, Spain. Its consumption was approximately 5l/100 km, and its maximum speed 75 km / h. Customers were promised that in case of defects, the money would be returned. A mismatch in the contracts caused so many returns, that in 1962 the company went bankrupt. There were three versions of 350, 400 and 500 cc, for an average price of 64,000 pesetas (about US$ 3,500 then). In total approximately one hundred cars were manufactured.

Even more maddening: in the comments, there seems to be a fully-restored version…so it must not be a completely unknown car!

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Deshais 350-cc: The website oldtimer.400.pl says:

Automobiles Deshais presented a small roadster at the Paris Motor Show in 1950. The car had 3 versions of the engine of 125cc to 350cc, weighed only 180kg. A year later, the company presented a car with a bigger engine 420cc, weighed 320kg.

Moretti Ital Uno Turbo: A Fiat Uno modified by Moretti; it's actually a pretty well-publicized car but I've always wanted to track down the owner in order to tell the story of the car in the 1989 One Lap of America, where it finished fourth overall. Apparently, about 25 were made. If you know the car(s) or owner… For good information on this model, go here and here.

Photo from autopasion18.com

Photo from autopasion18.com

Rago Coupé 325-cc: There's actually enough information on this car to write a story, and one resides in a museum in Uruguay. So what's the problem? I can't find photos nice enough to run; with #bcotd I try to find the best possible media…and the tidy little Rago is a difficult vehicle to find photos of.

Attica Carmel 12: A Greek-made version of the Israeli Autocars Co. Carmel; both of those links will take you to much more information on the cars—but again, there's little to no photography available. Anyone going to Israel or Greece for a vacation? Maybe we can track one down and take some nicer photos…

Chevrolet Chevette Coupe by Envemo: I've talked about Envemo before…but haven't been able to figure out what makes this Chevette special. Just a nose job? More here.

Fiat-Siata 500 Grand Sport by Zagato: One of Zagato's first cars, but of course, information is at a premium. Whatever happened to this sweet little roadster? 

Honda Hondina Youngstar by Zagato: This one infuriates me: there a number of great photos to use, but this is about all I've been able to dig up, thanks to carstyling.ruT: "The Hondina Youngstar was a Zagato-bodied roofless 'beach car' with no doors and bug-eye headlights which was based on the Honda N360."