I’m all for celebrating tiny Triumphs. I always wanted a TR6; a ’69 British green, top down, wind blowing in my hair. But there are so many other tinys too. 1954 356A? Yes please. Silver cabriolet. Austin Healy, the Opal, and who can forget the Goggomobil Dart? And so many imitators since- the MR2, the Miata, and even the little Fiero was a fun car. For truly tiny, the Mini Cooper may be the win, though.
I’ll never forget the first time I rode in a Mini. Many moons ago when I was footloose and fancy-free, making my way hitchhiking around the world, I was thumbing it up the coast of Northern New Zealand to the tip of Cape Reinga to see the Tasmanian Sea colliding with the Pacific Ocean. There were three of us corn fed big ole bloody yanks standing on the side of the rode with all of our gear. We often hitchhiked separately because it was harder to get a ride with all three of us together, but on this occasion we had three thumbs out. We had been waiting quite awhile on this early morning after striking camp, as traffic was sparse this far north. We were about to split up to increase our chances when a tennis shoe on wheels pulls over. We all burst out laughing at the shear absurdity of size. We all joked that these Kiwi’s had a great sense of humor, and walked over to the drivers window to thank him for the good laugh and great humor to start the day. He, however was not laughing. He was quite serious and offered us a ride (all three of us!) to where ever we were going. We didn’t believe him. There was no way three burly guys with three huge backpacks were going to fit in there. That was the day I learned of the miracle of the clown car. Not only did we all fit, with all our gear, but we had room to spare and plenty of leg room as well. We were gobsmacked. Ringling Brothers eat your heart out.