by Tony Marshall (published in the Isetta Gazette October 1980)
Photo's taken at Story 2000, Germany by Richard Jones.
As yet, I do not think we have looked at any cars from Australia in this series, despite excursions to many other parts of the world to see some very strange machines. Let us, then, rectify this now by going 'down uner' to take a brief look at the Goggo Dart. Unfortunately, like so many of the rare micro-cars, information is hard to come by, and I would be pleased to hear from anybody who has additional data or pictures of this car.
As you may have already guessed, the Goggo Dart owes more than a little to the Goggomobil cars from Germany. The 392cc twin cylinder two stroke engine, as well as the transmission and other parts originate from the German factory at Dingolfing, but there the similarity ends. A steel platform chassis was used, and on this was mounted an open glass fibre body of very pleasing sports car styling. Although only nine feet in length, the dart was of far larger appearance, and it was only when pictured in the presence of people that its minimal proportions became apparent.
The body was low, and had clean lines, tapering down to a wedge shape at the front. There do not appear to have been any doors, but as the car was so small it would not have been difficult to step over the sides, and the absence of cutaways would have contributed to the strength and rigidity of the whole structure. However, it must have been rather more difficult with the hood in the raised position. Perhaps this was not often needed in the climatic conditions prevalent in the Dart's country of origin.
Bill Buckle, designer of the Goggo Dart, claimed that the low weight and minimal wind resistance would contribute to give the car 'vivid acceleration'. Figures are not available, but the German Goggomobil TS400 coupe with a total weight of 1¾ cwt more, managed 0-30mph in 7.9 seconds, and 0-40mph in 14.1 seconds, with a top speed of 60mph, so it probably did seem quite 'vivid'.
The advertising leaflet said, "Test drive the Goggo Dart and you won't sleep again until you own one." Perhaps that was a slightly rash claim to make, but certainly the little Goggo Dart does look to have been a very nice little sports car, and anyway, there was less legislation covering advertising in those days!
I wonder how many Darts were made, and if any still exist now?