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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Is a 600-pound car with 328-cc, two-stroke engine just too goofy? | Hagerty Media

Sometimes it's difficult to remember a time when the proposed solution to automotive problems was something other than electrification. Back in the mid-20th century, faced with traffic congestion and cramped parking, automakers built petite, maneuverable cars. For instance, this little 1956 Berkeley SE328 barely commands half a traffic lane.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/is-a-600-pound-car-with-328-cc-two-stroke-engine-ju...
7 REPLIES 7
Waltc1234
New Driver

That thing is cool I would definitely drive it.
Mogowner
Intermediate Driver

If i remember correctly, there was another similar sized model which was powered by a Royal Enfield Constellation 750cc motor cycle engine. I am sure that it would have been a lively little car to drive. I can't remember how reverse gear was arranged, certainly not by rotating the engine/drive wheel combination as in the Bond of the same era.
SilentBoy741
Advanced Driver

With cars, art, and sometimes even people, nothing is ever "too goofy" as long as the person who has it loves it. Take it from a newly inducted Bricklin owner.
TG
Instructor

Before the hybrid/EV craze hit I often wondered if the one-person car might be the efficiency solution of tomorrow
TG
Instructor

That guy won the most toys contest
Gopher_Baroque
Intermediate Driver

"It sure looks fun to drive, though, even if it would practically disappear into every blindspot of a modern truck or SUV."
When I was in high school (late 70s), friend's older brother had a Honda Z600. It frequently displayed new gray body panels and ultimately got sold as the driver got tired of people bumping into it while parked. Just too small to be seen!
It looked like a fun car, though. They pretty much disappeared by the time I could have bought one, though. I did end up buying a Honda Civic wagon from a friend's girlfriend's brother, not running right ($50!) I redid the cylinder head (remember the three-valve CVCC design?), which only demonstrated the rings were bum, too. Hoped for economy over my van did not appear, I burned so much oil (costing 4x gasoline) that it offset fuel savings. It was a nice drive, though, with a classy design for a 70's economy car. Ended up selling to "a guy", with careful explanation that oil needed to be checked/filled every day. Sure enough, later that year I got a call from a junkyard trying to pin some fees on me as the last name on title - abandoned with burned-out engine! No problem back to me, though, as I made sure to properly report the sale at the time.
SlowJoeCrow
Intermediate Driver

I saw a Berkeley at a car show with a Honda 550 four in place of the original two stroke. That must have been scary fast.