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Dream Cars: Cute Mini Versions of Cars!

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Opinions expressed by Bill Crittenden are not official policies or positions of The Crittenden Automotive Library. You can read more about the Library's goals, mission, policies, and operations on the About Us page.

Dream Cars: Cute Mini Versions of Cars!

Bill Crittenden
March 1, 2014


Anyone who's played with Micro Machines, played Car Town, or seen various sketches knows there's a form of automotive art and style that includes taking a fast car and pulling it out of proportion, making it taller, narrower, exaggerating the features and basically making it cartoonish.

Did you know that you can own such a car?

Okay, unrealistic Rat Fink ridiculousness (with the shifter sticking out of the sunroof) aside, there is a way.  Take a cute little car, and paint it in a way only seen on bigger, faster cars. Obviously, you can't just take a Hyundai Accent and flat black it like an Audi R8.  The marques and styles need to match and the paint needs to be something exclusive to bigger, badder machines.

So my first idea of this was a Nissan Cube, because it is just about the cutest car on the road.  From there, my wife and I tossed around ideas and this is what I've come up with:

Calsonic Nissan Cube

Take Nissan's super-cute Cube, and their iconic blue JGTC Calsonic Skyline's paint scheme, with a big spoiler and black wheels to complete the look.

Not recognizable enough on American roads?  How about...

City Chevrolet Sonic

Take a Chevrolet Sonic sedan with steel wheels, paint it green and yellow in the paint scheme of Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) in Days of Thunder, paint the wheels to match NASCAR-style Aero wheels, add a spoiler and yellow-letter Goodyear tires.

This works with a LOT of iconic NASCAR paint schemes (Earnhardt, Gordon), but that was my favorite.  You could do the same with a Ford, but I much prefer...

Gulf Ford Fiesta

Yes, the Fiesta in Gulf racing colors.  Need I say more?

Richard Petty Dodge Dart

This might be the easiest to do, because the Dodge Dart already comes in a light blue that closely resembles Petty Blue.  Just add STP red if you want, there's DECADES of choices to make from there.  If you want to go ahead and take the easiest job and make it the hardest, you could try fitting a Superbird-style wing on the back!

Suppose you're not a big fan of the American racing scene.  If your budget is big enough, I highly recommend...

24 Hours of Le Mans Aston Martin Cygnet

Yes, the horror of the tiny Toyota dressed in Aston clothes, given the British Racing Green paint and 007 number of Aston's Le Mans race car.

Race cars not your cup of tea (or cheap warm beer while sitting on a grandstand)?  There are a few classic paint lines that would be fun to see on a tiny car:

Boss Ford Fiesta

Boss stripes on a Fiesta, which MUST be painted in a bright color.  Just make sure to change the "351" to the much smaller number corresponding to the cid of the Fiesta.

Bumblebee Chevrolet Spark

This one (well, ANYTHING involving a spark will be) is more giggle-worthy than cool.  Bonus: with the right muffler it might actually sound like a buzzing bee!  Fun!

Pontiac G3 Judge

If you don't mind perusing the used car lots, the Daewoo-based, Chevrolet Aveo twin Pontiac G3, a rare car in and of itself (less than 1,000 made between production beginning and Pontiac's demise), can be an even bigger celebration of the brand with some orange paint and Judge decals scaled down to fit the little hatchback.

Pontiac G3 Bandit

Same Pontiac G3 in Smokey and The Bandit black with gold trim and wheels.

Pontiac G3 Trans Am

The third in the trifecta of iconic Pontiac paint designs (not counting race cars), white with light blue stripes and light blue wheels.

Why?

So what the hell does one DO (besides giggle) with a tiny little car painted like a big badass car?  Well, my initial idea was prompted by wanting something really cool to market The Crittenden Automotive Library while still getting good fuel economy on long trips to bookstores and swap meets and on other errands.  Parts shops or any other kind of business that uses a little company car can work its own logo into the somewhere onto the car (back window, associate sponsor spot...).

Imagine your local NAPA shop delivering parts in a Chase Elliott NASCAR-styled Sonic instead of a Versa with a plastic hat on the top?  If I owned a Jimmy Johns I'd damn well paint up a Spark to look like Kevin Harvick's car for deliveries.  How cool would it be to have the Ford dealership's service loaners look like classic Trans Am Mustangs of George Follmer, Parnelli Jones, and Dan Gurney, but with the dealership information in place of the regular sponsors.

What's Your Idea?

So what's your idea for a cute mini version of a car?  What would you drive, how would you paint it, how might it be modified, and what would you use it for?



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