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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so we all know these cars arn't fast but 20 years ago 100hp in an econo type car would have been fantastic. So I got to thinking what was the least powerfull car I've ever owned. During high school I had an '83 Civic 3dr with a 1.3l that made 55hp. Can any one beat that?
 

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1971 VW Super Beetle, 40 hp IIRC.

edit: looks like it's 44hp so I'm slightly over knipdlo's 43, ****! It's certainly the lowest per displacement so far though - 1285cc for only 44hp. And the car was a whopping 160.5" long, fully 21" longer than our modern fiats.
 

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I can top it! My 1970 Fiat 850 Sedan topped out at a meager 34 horsepower! And ya know what's funny? I still accelerated away from traffic lights faster than most!
 

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3 contenders.

1. I learned to drive a stick on our 1961 VW Type 2 Combi, 40 HP (when the left front cylinder hadn't burned a valve (I once got it up to 70 mph downhill with a tailwind, after that I never got it over 50 mph.

2. 1959 Nash Metropolitan convertible (bought in 1969 fir $125). New it had 42 hp but by the time I got it the compression ratio was about 5 to 1, so your guess is as good as mine to the actual HP.

3. 1965 VW Type 1 Beetle. This is currently my oldest car. Panama blue, 1200cc and 40hp. It actually is fun to drive on the secondary roads and will do OK on the freeway slow lane (65 indicated), but at that speed, very, very loud! Around 45-50 it's a very nice and useful car. Everyone loves that car.

So of the three, my low is 40 hp in new condtion, in purchased condition (especially the type 2 & Metro, much less). 101hp sounds pretty good right now doesn't it?

Cheers
 

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64 beetle. 40hp.
 

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I still commute with about 33hp. But that is only pushing 600lbs.
 

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1972 Honda 600Z, 598cc 36 HP OR

1966 FIAT 600 767cc 29 HP
 

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My 1958 VW bug had 36 HP if I recall correctly. It was imported from Germany to the US by a soldier who had been stationed there. It also had semaphores, which were non-functional when I bought it. It took all of about an hour (give or take) to drop the motor, replace the clips that held the throw out bearing in place, and put the motor back in after about the 3rd time I had to do it. No gas gauge. Just an L shape lever uner the dash that you turned to the right when it ran out of gas, which gave you about 1 more gallon of fuel. Ah, those were the days.
 

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I drove a bunch of 1L FIATs in Brasil but have no idea of the HP. They were running on the alcolhol-rich Brasilian fuel too.
 

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I had a '81 civic, so yea, that thing was not big on HP. Keep in mind, lots of the old "sports cars" had very little horse power, it was all about being light, and fun to drive. Most of those cars had under 100hp too.
 

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I have owned a 2000 Honda Insight which had a 67hp 1 liter and 10 hp elecric motor. Also, my first car (truck) was a 1983 Toyota SR5 pickup. It had 100 hp and an auto tranny, and going uphill the truck would only go 55. It topped out at a max of 70 mph if you had the wind working with you.
 

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The original Beetle was only 1800 lbs and early Porsche 356's were about the same with 35 and 70 HP respectively. Yet the Porsche was the "fast" car. 30 HP always seems to be the magic amount to transform a car. The 2300 lbs 500 is only 30HP away from being perfect.
 
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