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Discussion Starter #1
I always thought my Insight was one of the more tiny unassuming-looking cars on the road.
Then I bought my '75 Spitfire and parked them head-to-head....
http://www.littlebluespitfire.com/pics/ ... itfire.jpg

The Insight looks downright aggressive!

Just thought it would be an interesting pic to post on a Friday. :)

p.s. - Please excuse the "monster truck" in the background...my neighbor has some issues with over-compensation. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah...I've been wanting a LBC for quite a while. It took some searching, but I found one that fits my level of ability repair needs-wise. Basically the car is completely driveable - it just needs some TLC.

If you've got the time, I'd bet there's a bunch of Sprite's around that could use a little proper "care and feeding".
 

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I don't know - I haven't seen one in years & years. Though someone in this building has the larger A-H from the same era - I see it parked in the lot quite often.

Don't know as I'd actually want one again, though. What I'd like to do, if I had time and a good shop, is find a wrecked Insight with only body damage, and build a really lightweight sports car body, using lots of carbon fiber and suchlike, and stripping off things like the 5 mph bumpers... Bet I could get down below what the Sprite weighed. Add the turbo, and maybe an exhaust recovery turbine, and I bet you'd have something that would beat the tires off most anything on the road, and get 100+ mpg.
 

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Another car smaller than the Insight is the Mini Cooper.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yep...I remember the original Minis.

BMW (who now owns the Cooper name) also owns the old British Leyland badges (Triumph and MG, plus a couple others).

Hmmm....maybe if the Cooper stays popular, and gas keeps going up, we'll see new versions of the MG and Triumph??

Speaking of small cars...I actually saw a BMW Isetta on the road last weekend! :shock:
http://www.microcarmuseum.com/tour/bmwisetta250.html

Wow...what a tiny little car!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Heh, there's a 1947 restored TC on eBay right now. It can be yours for the low, low price of $39,000.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... 2429616479

Very "classy" looking car, although the little sports car is more my style. Also about 1/2 dozen Sprites in various stages of disarray.

Just to get back "on-topic"...there was some talk on the Yahoo! Insight groups a while back about converting an Insight to total-electric.
That was a few months ago, I haven't heard any new news on the project. I'd really like to see someone do that! I'd bet with the right combination of motors and batteries, you could make the Insight into a nice little "sleeper". ;)
 

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Just a slight correction BMW does not own or have the rights to the MG name it is owned by Rovers Cars, which is not owned by BMW.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My Bad...BMW owns the Triumph name. I made the mistake of assuming they aquired the entire British Leyland stable of names. Sorry for the misinformation!

-Jim
 

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There are many cars smaller then the Insight. Here is a list of small cars that I currently own. BMW 600, Citroen 2CV, DAF 600 (inventor of CVT), Subaru 360, Morris Minor, Geo Metro. Here is a list of small cars I have owned in the past. Messerschmitt KR 175 & KR 200, BMW Isetta, Vespa 400, Goggomobile 400, Bianchiana 500, Fiat 500, 600, Multipla, Honda 600, Mini, DKW 3=6, Skoda, Subaru Justy, Chevy Sprint.
All those small cars got good milage but none of them got as good milage as the Insight. I once got 76 in a Subaru 360 and 88 in a Isetta, but that doesn't top the Insight's 92. The three cylinder cars,( Sprint, Justy, DKW, Metro) will all do around 90 mph, not even close to the Insight's top end.
When comparing the Insight with these and other small cars, the Insight is far and above all other small cars in comfort, reliability, speed, and MPG. ON the other hand the Insight could learn a thing or two from the older small cars about weight control, space utilization, and size. There are several 4 seat cars that are smaller and lighter, even some made in Japan today. Problem is people don't want to go head to head with SUV's in little cars.
Louis
 

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I bet most of the smaller/lighter cars didn't have to deal with present-day US crash and sheet metal protection standards, though :)

I wonder just how light you could get something like the Insight if you had time & money to spend. I think the power train is probably about as light as practical, but if you could replace some of the frame members with titanium, and the skin with carbon fiber/foam sandwich...
 

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Among those mentioned, I owned a Subaru Justy. It weighed 1600 pounds, almost 250 pounds less than the Insight. It was also extremely unstable in a panic stop and driving it, I typically got less than 35mpg. I also developed neck pain from the bad posture required of me to read the speedometer. It was not my favorite car, and I would never compare it positively to the Insight. My 2200 pound 1992 Civic got better pickup and better gas mileage (around 40mpg) and much more stable braking. The Insight brakes more controllably than the Civic.
 

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james
I think the Insight could be made a lot lighter. Titanium is 43% lighter than steel and stronger, so a part made to the same strength could be maybe 50% lighter. There is a lot of steel in the engine and trans. and the drive line. All that is rotating weight, if that were changed to titanium, the car would be lighter, more powerful, and use less fuel. The glass could be changed to a modern plastic, and the seats could be changed to a sling type. The wheels could be changed to 10 in. like most old small cars and moved to the corners like the original Mini, that would open up enough room to add two more seats. Most of the complants I hear about the Insight is that it is only two seats.
 

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I don't know why - after all, does anyone complain about e.g. Porsches having only two seats? If they want a four-seater, they should go buy a Civic Hybrid. The Insight is not boring old econobox transportation, it is an exotic sports car that just happens to get over 70 MPG :)

It seems a bit hypocritical, too. Isn't one of the mass-transit crowd's major complaints about all those 4+ passenger cars going down the freeways with only one person in them? So with a two-seater, you cut their complaints at least in half :)
 

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MSNBC(?) had an article that Toyota is about to be the leading seller of cars in the US. The Big Three in Detroit are ahead only by virtue of the truck and SUV sales.

The article had a concern that the American auto industry may be like the telecome and travel industry in the late 1990's - ready to fall. That gives me another reason why I wish Detroit had focused more on eco-friendly cars - the US economy is going to take a hit if people can't afford to fuel their big trucks and SUVs.
 
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