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Names that should return: Go Go Goggomobil!

Chris Haining January 31, 2014 Car Shows, Cars You Should Know, Nostalgia 24 Comments


There are defunct brands out there which, I’m sure, would be all the rage if they were to reappear. Brands where the name either means something symbolic or is just somehow very cool.

For example; I’d love, today, to be able to choose between Jaguar or Armstrong Siddeley for my top-rung British limo, and I’d much rather run about in a little tiny new Nash than an entry-level Chevy. And pretty close to the top of the list of names which could be easily marketed right now, what fun loving kid would refuse a new 21st century Goggomobil as their first car?


Goggomobil, of course, is a model name, the company was called Glas, and were eventually absorbed into BMW after producing a slew of absolutely amazing V8 engined saloon cars and limousines. Unfortunately, the way I understand things, the big cars they built were seen as a bit of a threat to the BMW Heartland, and so Munich decided to kill Dingolfing off. The Goggomobil, though, comes from happier times where microcars were in vogue across Europe, where it presumably appealed to those people for whom BMW’s Isetta was just that little bit too ridiculous. It benefited from at least being roughly the same shape as a car, having for example, actual doors on the side of the bodywork.


Today the microcars of the late 50’s and 60s have a viciously passionate following, even though for much of the population they are seen as amusing curiosities or cutesy occasional toys at best. This is, of course, all wrong, and I’m sure it’s not just MG Metro enthusiasts who will agree with me. So, assuming BMW now own the Goggomobil name, what better way of encouraging kids to grow into the brand than by relaunching Goggo as a sub-Mini offering? Come on, it would be terrific! Who’s with me?

We will not accept SUV variants under ANY circumstances.

[Images: Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Chris Haining]

  • FuzzyPlushroom

    Since someone has to say it: they obviously need to introduce a high-performance variant called the Gogogogogoggomobil as well.

    • Tiller188

      Clearly such a variant would have to be radial-powered. (I say clearly, because this particular variant….ok, one-off…is the only Goggomobil I'm familiar with.) Sure, rear visibility will suffer a bit, but…

      [youtube 7t2M6fwsvzs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t2M6fwsvzs youtube]

      (~9:30, angry radial plus spur-gear whine…*drool*. It's music from there on out…)

      • Mike England

        that's incredible! so some German dude hooned an engine out of an old stearman or something into this microcar? I love it!

        • AlexiusG55

          Stearman nothing, this is a Vedeneyev M-14P radial from a Russian aerobatic plane (such as a Yak-50) or helicopter. Two more cylinders and 140 more horsepower than a Stearman.

  • nanoop

    what fun loving kid would refuse a new 21st century Goggomobil as their first car?

    I remember that somebody here taught me about a pretty rare kei-car (sp?) that looked pretty much like that, but rather from the 90ies.

    • JayP2112
      • nanoop

        Exactly! Nissan Figaro, 20000 built in 1991, says Wikipedia.

      • AlexiusG55

        The Figaro's not a Kei-car, it's based on the Nissan March/Micra.

        • nanoop

          Honestly, I never bothered to figure out what a kei car actually is, I thought it's some size/power restricted class in the Japanese tax system, and that Figaro seemed pretty small to me!

          • AlexiusG55

            It's restricted by size, power and displacement. Currently the maximum displacement for a kei-car is 660cc (A Figaro is 987 cc) and the Figaro is also too long and too wide by about a foot in each case.

            I've heard that to buy a regular car in Japan you have to prove that you have a parking space for it, but this requirement doesn't exist for kei-cars. Also they're taxed less.

  • I thought the Go-Go Mobile was a 1960 Buick Special Convertible?

    <img src="http://blog.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads//2010/11/gogosBuick_700.jpg&quot; width=400>

    • stigshift

      That was actually Belinda Carlisle's car at the time.

      • You've been watching Pop Up Video again, haven't you.

  • Marto


    One of the most famous TV ads ever in Australia.

    • Marto

      But what's a "freps"?

      • stigshift

        Friends Regularly Expect Push Starting.

        • Marto

          Awe, poor dude. His friends are broken.

  • BlackIce_GTS

    Tangentially, I just noticed I don't know anything about Armstrong-Siddeley. Including their mascot, a space soldier from the 1000th decade of the '70s.
    <img src="http://auto-logo.info/logo/a/armstrong-siddeley9.jpg&quot; width=500>

    • Sjalabais

      Wow. For when Mercedes' aiming star is too subtle.

    • mac350

      I want those guns!

  • AlexiusG55

    Could Google buy the name to use on the first Google Car?

  • discontinuuity

    Maybe we need a gypsy-punk microcar called the Hütz Gogolmobile. It would naturally be made by immigrants out of as many internationally sourced parts as possible.
    <img src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ab/Gogol_Bordello_-_Rock_in_Rio_Madrid_2012_-_01.jpg/260px-Gogol_Bordello_-_Rock_in_Rio_Madrid_2012_-_01.jpg"&gt; <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gogol_Bordello” target=”_blank”>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gogol_Bordello

  • bhtooefr

    There are Goggomobil-sized SUVs, though…

    And, actually, all of the Goggomobils fit into the modern-day kei class, although the coupe was too long and wide to fit into the kei class of their day, and the van was too wide. (The sedan fit once Japanese regulations were changed in April 1955 to allow 2-strokes to be over 240 cc.)