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Today’s smart cars didn’t arrive out of the blue. Microcars became the hottest vehicle to own across Germany and Italy in the 1950s — popularised by brands like Messerschmitt, BMW, Heinkel and Lambretta. Soon afterwards, the trend towards more compact, lighter and more environmentally friendly cars spread to the UK, Japan and Australia. Here, the most notable contributions to the microcar revolution were the Goggomobil Dart and the Zeta Runabout, the latter was designed by South Australian entrepreneur Harold Lightburn who used innovative lightweight fibreglass in his design.

From June, you can celebrate the development of these tiny vehicles — and their lasting impact — in an intriguing exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. It’ll…

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