The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum | Lot 337
1953 Manocar Prototype
$6,900 USD | Sold
| Madison, Georgia
15 February 2013
Entirely original, one of only two examples.
Manufacturer: Établissements Manom
Origin: Saint Ouen, France
Motor: SABB 1-cyl, 2-stroke
Displacement: 125 cc
Power: 4 hp
Length: 8.2 ft.
Identification No. N/A
By the fall of 1952, word had already gotten around that the Manom Company was working on a small, three-wheeled, two-seat vehicle. The two curvaceous prototypes that emerged displayed a typically French disregard for convention, with a tall body shell and deeply cutaway doors that enabled one to enter comfortably and be seated on the high-mounted seat, almost directly from a standing position. The tall Plexiglas windshield and canvas roof furthered this impression of roominess, and perhaps deliberately, flew in the face of tiny, cramped cars like the Brütsch.
The bulbous hood, or bonnet, with its large oval grille and headlight pods, comprised the entire front third of the body. It pivoted upwards, permitting unrivalled access to the motor and complex front suspension incorporating the typically French Niemann rubber bands. The motor, missing on this example, was mounted on the front forks and drove the front wheel vertically by chain. Its small displacement enabled the car to be driven without a license, and the starkly plain interior further encouraged the intended purchasers from perhaps a rural demographic. This remarkable car is one of two prototypes, and it has survived retaining its original color, with only a pleasant patina to mark the passing of the decades.