In the novel The Ten Weeks, both the heroine and her father drive variations of the Citroen 2CV, the latter the original and the former the Dyane.  This form of "basic transportation" helped many Europeans to have a car–with ecologically friendly gas mileage–of any kind in the years after the devastation of World War II.

Below: Citroen 2CV.  Planning for this car started before World War II, but it wasn’t until after the war that it was first produced, finally discontinued in 1990.

The memory of the 2CV is the first thing that struck me when I saw Tata’s Nano, a video of which you can see below.

It’s easy for people in the "developed" countries to laugh at this.  But, as I noted earlier, the last laugh will probably be Tata’s.