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1975 ACOMA Mini Comtesse

1975 ACOMA Mini Comtesse


The 1975 ACOMA Mini Comtesse was designed and produced in France. ACOMA’s Mini Comtesse was built in the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s to take advantage of one of the country’s more perplexing regulations at the time: the ‘L-Category’ of voiture sans permis, or cars available to be driven by individuals without licenses, a slightly terrifying proposition for licensed and law-abiding drivers, but an exciting one for those without!

The odd styling, folding gullwing door on one side and regular door on the other, and dangerous instability didn't hurt sales at all. The single powered front wheel was helped by a pair of "training" wheels to improve safety. Brakes were to the rear wheels only. Various "improved" models were produced.

In terms of powerplant, the Mini Comtesse, the smallest of the microcars produced by ACOMA, was similar to England’s Peel P50, boasting three wheels and a 49-cc, single-cylinder engine which only produced 3 bhp (compared to the 4.5 bhp of the Peel). With a smaller output in terms of horsepower, it comes as no surprise that the Mini Comtesse only had two forward gears (compared to the Peel’s three) and no reverse gear as well. Top speed was quoted at 20 mph.

One of the car’s more unique features, especially when considering its size, was the fact that it had not one but two doors. On the driver’s right is a conventionally hinged door, while on the driver’s left is a roof-hinged gullwing door. This was implemented due to the Mini Comtesse’s size, which allowed it to park perpendicularly between two parked cars. In this case, it would prove difficult to disembark from the driver’s right. To the left, however, egress and entry would be much easier.

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