This is another post based on photos from the recent holiday in Liguria, Northern Italy.
I came across this curious little one seater car on very hot day in Sanremo. Its driver had parked and gone off somewhere, leaving the keys in the ignition.
I was so tempted to jump in and have a ride, but I figured that: 1) It might spoil the guy’s day to find his tiny car missing, and: 2) I had no idea of how to drive it.
(All these images get bigger if you click on them.)
Another rather whimsical thought struck me; That the little car might be magical. Apart from its unusual shape and size, and its very modern looking curves, there was a striking and arresting anomaly:- The bamboo broom clamped onto the side looked just like the besom that Kiki rides in “Kiki’s Delivery Service“.
But enough of such whimsy…
The picture below shows the strange combination of hi-tech car, and lo-tech bamboo broom. A wonderful mix.
The interior is a bit sparse, to put it mildly…. That dashboard / control panel will never win any prizes for style.
I was intrigued to know who made such utilitarian cars, and was surprised to find the name of a very famous Italian motorbike company on the badge…
The “DUC” part is from “Ducati”, makers of legendary superbikes, with names like “Monster” and “Streetfighter“.
There are two branches of the Ducati group of companies, and the little single seater DUC is a product of the electrical engineering side of the company.
Here’s a link to their website, and a downloadable brochure that gives you all the vital statistics you crave.
The car in these photos is the hybrid- petrol / battery version, which gives the driver a range of about 40 kilometres ( about 25 miles) which is enough sweeping for anybody in one day….
Although that rear end isn’t exactly pretty, the picture shows the two independent motors that propel and turn the rear wheels, without the need for any clunky steering mechanism.
To finish, I leave you with a link to a (translated) French website, that shows how many of these new types of vehicles are already available today. Most of them are designed for urban transport, rather than street cleaning, and what’s so striking is the new cartoony aesthetic that pervades so many of the novel designs.
There’s a real sense that this market for electric and hybrid vehicles is maturing in Europe..
And furthermore, there aren’t really any mean streets in the belle epoque gentility of Sanremo. But you knew that, anyway.