"I always like all sorts of weird cars, and all of these cars qualify," Nelson, 58, said as he stood beside his bright red 1960 Goggomobil coupe, which tips the scales at just under 1,000 pounds, is less than five feet wide and comes with the "big" engine option: a 20-horsepower, two-stroke, two-cylinder model. All for $7,500, and another $1,000 to have the vehicle shipped from California to Massachusetts.
    While he’s made some repairs to the front shocks and clutch - "it’s a 45-year-old car," he says - it generally runs smoothly.
    "My goal is to drive it to Cape Cod," he said.
    But, no matter where he’s going, the car elicits the same response from viewers.
    "It makes people smile," Nelson said. "They do a double take and then smile."
    Ralph Hough and his wife, Wendy, were married in 1963 and toured Europe, on their honeymoon, in a Messerschmitt. They even belonged to a Messerschmitt club. Ralph drove down from Ontario, Canada along with his son, Richard, and grandson, Spencer to partake in the Gould’s weekend event.
    That Messerschmitt was sold a long time ago. However, in 1990, Ralph retired as a police officer and bought a Messerschmitt, which he planned to trailer behind an RV. He never got the RV, and now he has a ’Schmitt House in his back yard, which stores his two BMW Isettas, two BMW 600s, and five Messerschmitts.
    "Wherever you go, people take pictures," Richard said. "It’s unique. It’s not your typical ’57 Chevy. A lot of people have never seen these kinds of things."
    Ralph’s favorite is the four-wheeled, bright blue Messerschmitt Tiger - "the ultimate collector micro car," he said - and at $45,000 to $50,000 they’re not cheap to acquire.
    The first car of any size that Kevin George, 49, owned was a Vespa 400, a car slightly smaller than Nelson’s diminutive Goggomobil. George bought it for $10 when he was 16 and after making repairs to it, sold it for $200.
    Two and a half decades passed before he got back into a mini car. It took him another three years of searching before he found one of the four remaining Biscuter Pegasins still in existence.
    Though the car gets between 55 and 60 miles per gallon, it usually takes George 30 minutes to fill the tiny tank - people at the pumps are always asking questions.
    Because the Pegasin is so rare, the once-affordable vehicle could now fetch $20,000 to $40,000 on the market.
    "These cars bring more smiles per dollar than any others," said Nancy Gould.
    Daniel E. Black can be reached at dblack@cnc.com or at 781-433-8216.

Charles Gould, organizer of the 11th annual Microcar and Minicar Classic, sits in his three-wheeled 1961 Messerschmitt. (Photo By Matthew Healey)