Monday, October 07, 2013

The World's Smallest Car

Think back to when you first saw a Smart Car and remember how impossibly tiny you thought it was.  Think again and prepare to giggle.  Meet the Canta.  And for a special treat, behold an adorable 20 year-old Kevin standing next to one in 1998:



Priceless.

The Canta is manufactured in the Netherlands by a small company called Waaijenberg.  Most golf carts dwarf these things, and it’s interesting to see what the minimum space requirement is for two people to be seated in a vehicle scooting around in normal traffic. There also appears to be some space behind both seats, which could come in handy if you bought a magazine or newspaper during your travels.

Here are some things I discovered about the marvelously miniscule Canta:
  • No driver’s license required!
  • You can legally drive them in bike paths and (the company says) through shopping centers
  • They all feature a Honda engine of either 160 cc or 200 cc
  • There are 4 different models, and almost all are manufactured to custom specifications according to the owners’ desires
  • The most expensive of the 4 models, the Inrij-Canta, is specifically built to be driven by someone still in their wheelchair. The chair wheels into the rear door and then right behind the steering wheel.
  • The Dutch version can reach speeds up to 30 mph, while a German electric model only goes half that speed, and a UK version goes up to about 44 mph. 
  • The basic version of the Canta sells for under $16,000.  The Inrij-Canta version will run you a little over $24,000. 
The fact that you don’t need a driver’s license to drive one of these things is more than a little shocking to me. The company doesn’t mention anything about a minimum age requirement to drive one, but I suppose the strangely high price tag takes care of that. Anyone old enough to scrape up $16K or more certainly would have better things to spend it on than buying a tiny car.
At least I hope so.