Indian motorcycle giant Bajaj has been trying to get its Qute Quadricycle onto showroom floors for a while now. With reports suggesting that the Bajaj Qute may finally be ready to roll on Indian roads, we decided to take a look into our nation’s automotive past to find if there were any other quirky and tiny cars that you may have never heard of.
The Qute is not Baja’s first foray into the world of micro ‘cars’. The PTV (private transport vehicle) was built in the 1980s, when Bajaj was trying to make a car out of a rickshaw, due to the limitations imposed on the number of auto-rickshaws that could be made at that time.
The PTV was based on an autorickshaw frame that was cut down to size and featured a rack and pinion steering wheel setup instead of the usual auto handlebars. The Bajaj PTV featured a 145cc auto-rickshaw engine and a metallic body. 10 prototypes were made, but the model never entered production.
The Sipani Badal was India’s answer to the British Reliant Robin. However, unlike its British brethren, the Badal was a flop, despite being helped by Reliant themselves.
The Sipani Badal was powered by a 198cc, two-stroke engine that sent power to the rear wheels. Unfortunately for Sipani, the Badal’s fibreglass body and three-wheeler nature just didn’t appeal to Indian buyers in the late 1970s.
India’s attempt at building the German Fuldamobil, the Scootacar also featured three wheels, though the single wheel was at the rear. Unlike its German counterpart which was powered by a Sachs engine, the Scootacar used a 500cc Villiers unit.
The Gogomobil was once a German microcar that was being evaluated to be produced in India when Jawaharlal Nehru was still the PM of India.
Marketed as the small car for the large family, the Gogomobil was powered by a 250cc single cylinder engine which propelled it to a top speed of 100kph (62mph). Unfortunately, the project went bust before it could really take off.
Meera Mini Car
The Meera Mini car was an indigenous attempt at a microcar from the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. Multiple generations of the car were made including the first-gen car pictured here, but due to the red tape at the time, the Meera Mini car never really took off.
Powering the Meera Mini Car was a 19bhp, air/water cooled four-stroke engine that propelled the car to a top speed of 88.5kph (55mph).
Trishul Diesel Tourer
The Trishul Diesel Tourer was a miniature version of a jeep that was produced by Trishul Crafts Auto Ltd in Patna, Bihar.
The miniature jeep featured four seats, a ragtop roof, which could be removed and a Trishul hood ornament. Powering the Trishul Diesel Tourer was a single cylinder Greaves-Lombardini diesel engine.
Bringing the world of micro cars into the 21st century is the Rajah Motors Creeper, a tiny two-seater, four-wheeled car that looks more like a boxy ATV.
The Rajah Creeper was revealed to the world at the 2012 Auto Expo in New Delhi. The Creeper is only 1.25 metres wide and is powered by an 800cc engine.
Images courtesy Team-BHP