The cartoonish Volugrafo “Bimbo 46”

Although it looks like it just jumped off the pages of a comic book, the Volugrafo “Bimbo 46” wasn’t drawn by a cartoonist. It was one of the vehicles designed after the Second World War to meet the needs of the many people who yearned for movement, but couldn’t afford much.

Seeing a photo of it, at first you may think it was a scale model or toy. You might expect Donald Duck and his nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, to get in and drive off. In fact, this is a real car, designed by engineer Claudio Belmondo and made by Turin’s Officine meccaniche Volugrafo in 1946.

The small car, fitted with a 125cc four-stroke engine, has no doors and no reverse (when needed, you get out and maneuver the car – small, but by no means light at 125 kilograms – by sheer muscle power).

Only two meters long, it has two seats, four pedals – brake, accelerator, clutch, and ignition –, stick shift at the driver’s left, one driving wheel, and chain drive.

Instead of shock absorbers, it uses simple leaf springs to make bumpy rides slightly more comfortable.

And it makes for an unexpected and fun sight when it jogs along a country road… like a cartoon.

Photos via:


Most Read

Gucci Garden: the maison’s “secret” garden

by Barbara PalladinoLocated in Palazzo della Mercanzia, at the very heart of Florence, Gucci Garden straddles reality and the imagination, summing up...

Anna Fendi’s taste for elegance

by Barbara PalladinoFashion, just like wine, hinges its success on three running themes: passion, excellence and research. These are indeed the three...

Nanda Vigo: the “light artist”

by Barbara PalladinoArchitect, designer and artist Nanda Vigo recently passed away in Milan. An undisputed protagonist of the creative scene in the...

Fontana dell’Acqua Paola: Roman icon

The Fontana dell’Acqua Paola (Acqua Paola Fountain) is one of Rome’s most famous sites and has appeared in movies and songs. Also...