Did you know that Wagon Wheels were actually invented in Australia way back in 1948; 165 million are scoffed each year and, contrary to common belief, have not got smaller since their ‘70s heyday. Biscuit scientist reckon that it’s probably just a combination of podgy adult-sized hands, ‘rose tinted glasses’, modern-day gluttony and today’s supersized snacks that fools conspiracy theorists into thinking we’re now being diddled out over our RDA of marshmallow and choccy biscuit.

The ‘Wagon Wheel debacle’ is a bit of an odd one because nearly everything else has got bigger, including our cars and us! Back in the 1970s around 30% of Brits had a BMI greater that 25; today 65% of us have crossed that chubby watershed, while a quarter of “big boned” Brits now class as clinically obese. To compensate manufacturers are plumping up our motors too – this year’s Polo is now bigger than the original ‘70s Golf.


However, while most would see this as a problem, snake-hipped MotorPunks such as myself have spotted a potential opportunity here. Take for example the classic MG Midget, fabulous Caterham 7s, ‘70s oddballs like the Bond Bug or even a modern day Morgan 3 Wheeler; only half the population today can comfortably get into those things! With a bit of luck we might just see prices starting to drop for snug cockpitted exotica in the next few years. So if you’ve long hankered after a Frogeyed Sprite, Lotus Elise or Westfield track toy then you might soon be in luck – just lay off the Wagon Wheels a bit.

But how have some of our other favourite models and marques chubbed up over the years? Yes, sometimes it’s so they can ram it full of safety gubbins; yes, it’s done so they can give the customer ‘more’ added value; yes, we simply expect more space in our modern motors. But how much automotive bloating is actually down to the human race’s expanding waistlines? What you reckon MotorPunks? Add your comments and pics below.


About The Author

Darryl can usually be found up to his elbows in some unloved piece of BL detritus when he isn’t snapping and scribbling for various print magazines or producing the book on road tripping or tally-ho adventurers. As an occasional presenter on CBS's Carfection YouTube channel, his other hobbies include vintage Scalextrics, ‘60s Bang & Olufsen and dabbling in grassroots motorsport.

3 Responses

  1. Cooper Bill

    Don’t quite believe the Wagon Wheel hasn’t shrunk! Food for thought re the bloating motors!

  2. Dr.Octane

    Well, I didn’t believe either at first. But you can’t argue with a bone fide Biscuit Scientist.


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