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What the Goggomobile?

Goggomobil entered the Australian vernacular in the 1990s due to the now iconic Yellow Pages ads later replicated by Shannons Insurance, but the Dart was developed locally by Buckle Motors.

The Repco Garage has previous covered Bill Buckle’s self-developed sports car, but this venture was different using the chassis and mechanical components sourced from the Goggomobil microcar built in Dingolfing, Germany.

An Australian-designed body comprised of an open top without any doors and a small luggage compartment was placed in the front, with the entire package weighed just 345kg. Astonishing. Although light, it was powered by a 300cc or 400cc two-stroke motor good for a top speed of 96Km/h or 104Km/h, respectively.

A four-speed manual sent power to the rear wheels as the whole package was advertised as the cheapest model on the market at that time in Australia.

Launched in 1959, the Goggomobil sold around 700 examples in a three-year run ending in September 1961.

After 1961, Buckle turned his business interests to converting American models for the local market, becoming Australia’s leading company for this.

There are thought to be just 50 Darts in existence, but during the 1990s there was a renaissance as Scottish-born actor Tommy Dysart drawled “I have a problem with my Goggomobil” or “G-O-G-G-O” or “It’s not the Dart!”

In later years, Dysart replicated this role for Shannons Insurance recalling the Dart being his first love at 16. Of course, Shannons continue to use the Dart as a promotional tool at various events including car shows and motorsport meetings all year round. Dysart sadly passed away last year at the age of 86.

The Dart continues to be a quirky piece of Australian history and definitely still attracts a crowd.