Built in Manresa, near Barcelona, by Automoviles Utilitarios S. A., the pretty little PTV (named after company owners Perramon, Tacho and Vila) was the second-biggest-selling microcar in Spain, next to Biscuter. While the latter was strictly a primitive, utilitarian device, the PTV was- with its proper doors, 2-tone paint, chrome trim and 12-inch wheels- intended for a more upscale, discerning clientele.
After a lengthy 2-year development period, the prototype appeared in 1956, featuring an in-house 250cc motor with aluminum piston and head, which drove the rear wheels. Independent front suspension, large diameter wheels and snug, enclosed bodywork even allowed discussion of driving comfort- a subject not remotely considered by a Biscuter driver.
The car was improved over the years with the addition of bumpers and other extras. A 350cc motor was planned for later cars but was never actually put into production.
Inevitably, the end came from competition with a "real" car- the Fiat 600, license-built in Spain as the SEAT 600. This mass-produced, not-much-more-expensive car, had four cylinders and four seats, and simply steamrollered over the hand built PTV- a scene repeated all over Europe in the late 1950's.
AUSA is still with us today, producing utility equipment and forklift trucks.
Manufacturer: Automobiles Utilitarios S. A., Manresa, Spain