Bubble cars and Vespa scooter, Science Museum, June 2000.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Display case in the 'Making the Modern World' gallery, containing post-WWII motor transport. On the right is a BMW Isetta 300 bubble car, made in 1961. The Isetta, with its single front-opening door, was first produced in 1953 and is regarded as the vehicle which started the bubble car fashion. On the left is a Meserschmitt KR200 bubble car built in 1960. This model, launched in 1955, is basically a three-wheeled tricycle with a clear plastic bubble canopy, inspired by fighter aircraft design. Above is a a Vespa 125 scooter, made by Piaggio in 1948. The broad front panel protected the rider from the weather, and meant people could make short journeys in everyday clothes. By 1955, a million Vespas had been built.