1955 Messerschmitt KR200 Kabinenroller Kabrio
Chassis no. 55126
191cc Fichtel & Sachs Air-cooled Two-stroke Single-cylinder Engine
10bhp at 5,000rpm
Four-speed manual transmission (both forward and reverse)
Three-wheel hydraulic independent suspension
Cable-operated mechanical drum brakes
Restored approximately eight years ago by a marque specialist
*Very good mechanical order
*Transmission shifts smoothly
*Excellent paint in "Mary Kay" color
*Converted to a roadster
The 1955 Messerschmitt K200
In an era when American cars were becoming longer, lower, and wider, Germany gave us the Messerschmitt KR200. The aircraft manufacturer built the kabinenroller ("scooter with cabin") in response from being banned from building planes after World War II. Initially designed by aeronautical engineer Fritz Fend as an "invalid carriage", he noticed able-bodied folks seeking basic transportation and approached Messerschmitt to build the three-wheeler.
Starting with the Messerschmitt KR175 in 1953, the improved 1955 KR200 featured an enlarged 191cc Fichtel & Sachs air-cooled single-cylinder two-stroke motor in front of the rear wheels. Reflecting its aircraft roots, left and right turns were handled by a steering bar that was operated by pushing instead of turning. Seating position was in tandem, one in front of the other, giving the Messerschmitt a low center of gravity and great handling. Entry for both passengers was through an acrylic hinged canopy, although Kabrio and Roadster models substituted a tonneau cover. Messerschmitt was permitted to build planes again in 1956, thereby losing interest in kabinenroller production. The factory was sold to Fend, who formed FMR and continued to produce this and subsequent bubble cars through 1964.
The Motorcar Offered
This early KR200 was found in Northern Illinois and cosmetically restored about eight years ago. Finished in 'Mary Kay Pink' with a black vinyl interior, it was converted from an enclosed canopy to the open Kabrio top at some pointpossibly prior to the restoration. The next owner, who was looking for a Messer, had tasked a well-known Messerschmitt guru to find him a suitable car. Upon discovering this example about five years ago, it was taken to his shop and mechanically restored as it was not running at the time of purchase.
Once completed, the little three-wheeler was reported to be a strong runner and lovely driver. Shown a few times since being finished, it has been a consistent crowd favorite. Next time you have the urge to get a Big Gulp at the 7-Eleven, why not ditch the Smart car and go in style in this KR200?