Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Business smarts 37 & 38: Target Park & Reprodux

Target Park operates over 30 Parking lots in the GTA and offers "Park and Wash" and monthly parking rate options.

Reprodux is a full service printing and document management company (scanning, archiving, large format printing, laminating) with eight locations across the GTA.

Photos by RLT

Monday, August 24, 2009

Business smarts 35 & 36: fortwo in Spain

Business smarts 33: Sevilla Gym , Seville, Spain

Business smarts 34: Miroplata, Cordoba, Spain.
The url miroplata.com is no longer active. Miroplata was or is a jewelery and watch retailer.

An early smart, Seville, Spain: the mottled green body panels were offered on the 1998 model.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Known as Trixis (tricycle + taxis), these 21 speed trikes are assisted by a 250W electric engine which is integrated into the front axle. Fit, friendly and multiligual "Trixistas" take one or two passengers around the sites of Malaga, Spain.
These ladies were fueling up between tours.
See them on Spanish TV at youtube .

Friday, August 21, 2009

Goupil G3

Goupil manufactures a range of light utility vehicles at its plant in Aigillon in southwest France. This "tipper with lambo doors" was photographed while on clean up duty in the centre of Cordoba, Spain. Only 1.1 m (3.6 ft) wide with a 3 m (9.8 ft) turning radius it's ideal for narrow streets in historic European cities and towns.
For details go here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Casalini Sulky

With its unusual all-steel body work and tubular steel frame, the Casalini Sulky 3-wheeler microcar made its debut in 1975. In 1980 it gained a fourth wheel and was rebadged as a Bretta or David.
The company, founded in 1939 by C. M. Casalini, still operates in Piacenza, a city of approximately 100,000, in northern Italy. The current Sulky has a two cylinder Mitsubishi engine. Find out more here.

Spotted in Lagos, Portugal this Sulky is missing its front bumper and faux grille.
No known relationship to the Casal company.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Aixam and Microcar

Aixam - Mega, founded in 1983, is based in Aix-les-Bains, on the shore of Lac du Bourget in France's Rhône-Alpes region. The Crossline [above] and Super Luxe [below] were spotted in the hill town of Mijas, Spain.

Microcar, founded in 1984, is brand of the Bénéteau Group, a yacht and boat-building company with a hundred year of history, based in Croix-de-Vie, a seaside resort on the Atlantic 70 km west of Nantes. Both of these MC1 cars were photographed at Tavira, Portugal.

Although these companies are at opposite ends of France, they have the commitment to making fuel efficient city runabouts in common. Some Aixam and Microcar models can be driven without a license in some European countries.

For more information see: Aixam, Microcar
Pics by RLT.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Forza Italia

This Ape 50, seen at a market in Bari, Italy, was photographed by SCOOT follower Ron while on holiday last month.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Three wheels on my wagon

The Piaggio Ape is not the only three-wheeler on Portuguese roads it seems. We spotted these other vehicles - but would we ever find out what they were? I owned a half-share in a Reliant way back when so I was determined to find out.

The first one was on display in a park in Sagres, on the coast, languishing in the salty air on a hot day. It reminded me of the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. I noted that it had a German Zündapp motor. After considerable research on the internet we found out that it is a Famel Tricarro which came fitted with a 50cc Zündapp motor. Famel, based in Águeda, Portugal, was one of the most successful makers of motorized 3-wheelers from the 1960s to the 1980s. After Portugal joined the EEC the company filed for bankruptcy in 2002.

The second one photographed in Tavira, similar but not the same, is a Motalli - thought to be a TR2 model. The Motalli lives on it seems.

Thirdly the one without a cabin is a Casal from Aveiro, named for João Casal, picture also taken in Tavira. The company is defunct, going bankrupt in February 2000.

Words and pics by RLT.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Go Ape!

Fools and Horses delivery van,
Lagos, Portugal

While it may be difficult for Canadians to believe, there are many vehicles in Europe that make the smart car look bulky in comparison. Piaggio, makers of the Vespa (Italian for wasp) scooter, have been producing three-wheeled Ape (pronounced Ah-pey, Italian for bee) vehicles since 1948. We spotted quite an assortment of Ape models in Spain, Gibraltar and Portugal. Like the name suggests, they are the workers of the Piaggio line.

Monchique, Portugal

Municipal works vehicle,
Los Boliches, Spain

Gibraltar Confectionary delivery van,

At the town market,
Tavira, Portugal

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Smart’s top of the Three

Parent firm Mercedes plans three-seater brother to ForTwo

When it comes to sporty Smarts, could three be the magic number? Auto Express has uncovered these amazing drawings, recently filed with the European patent office by the Mercedes-owned company. And they show a three-seater car!
Although there’s no official word on the fresh model, it’s expected to be Mercedes’ answer to small but space-efficient newcomers such as the Toyota iQ and imminent rivals from BMW and Audi. Replacing the slow-selling Smart Roadster and Coupé – axed back in 2005 – the model would sit above the ForTwo and offer a more practical and flexible sporty vehicle potentially badged ForThree.

Read full story here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

smart spotting in Europe

On a three week tour in Europe we spotted countless smart fortwos, 6 roadsters, 1 crossblade and 20 smart forfours. Produced at the NedCar factory at Born, Netherlands between April 2004 and June 2006, the forfour shares some 50% of its components with the Mitsubishi Colt still in production there. We took photos of these examples at Gibraltar[above]; Seville, Spain [below]; and the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, near Portimão, Portugal [bottom].