Two owners from new,1955 Messerschmitt KR-200 Cabrio  Chassis no. 56265
Lot 421
Two owners from new, 1955 Messerschmitt KR-200 Cabrio
Chassis no. 56265
Sold for US$ 25,155 inc. premium

Lot Details
Two owners from new,1955 Messerschmitt KR-200 Cabrio  Chassis no. 56265 Two owners from new,1955 Messerschmitt KR-200 Cabrio  Chassis no. 56265 Two owners from new,1955 Messerschmitt KR-200 Cabrio  Chassis no. 56265
Two owners from new
1955 Messerschmitt KR-200 Cabrio
Chassis no. 56265
As Europe emerged from the ashes of WWII, so do did their thirst for sporting motorcars. Unfortunately, the ravages of war had left most of Europe, and especially Germany, with bombed out factories, inadequate supplies of steel and oil, and most significantly, a shattered economy. While the passion for driving had not changed, what people drove, for the time being, have to fit into the budgets and needs of post-WWII Europe. Out of this, the microcar was born.

Pioneered by the Austin Seven, microcars were usually scaled down versions of their larger motoring brethren. But some companies took a radically different approach, including a company formerly known for its fearsome fighters planes. Messerschmitt, run by the aeronautical and mechanical genius Wilhelm "Willy" Messerschmitt, had produced the Bf109 and Me262 (among others) that had rained death on the Allies, but without the ability to produce aircraft after WWII thanks to the prohibitions placed on Germany following the war, it turned to cars. The car Willy made looked like nothing else, featuring three wheels (which was advantageous tax wise, since it was technically a motorcycle), a rear mounted 175cc Sach two-stroke single, a cockpit-like seating arrangement and plexiglass canopy, and a set of motorcycle handlebars. Starting as the KR-175, it evolved to eventually include the four-wheeled Tiger at the top end.

The KR-200 offered here was an evolution of the KR-175 that incorporated such improvements as a wider track, redesigned rubber-in-torsion-suspension, and a larger 191cc Sachs motor rubber mounted for smoothness. Reverse still required you to shut off the motor and restart it spinning backwards—but this could now be done electronically. A touch of elegance was added with the inclusion of ivory-colored handlebars in place of the old chrome pieces.

This two-owners from new Messerschmitt KR-200 was originally purchased in New York by a 6' 3" tall gentleman and used as a daily driver. It eventually passed from his estate to the current vendor, who had the car restored in 2003 by respected Vermont craftsmen David Greenlees and Eno Depasquale. While it was originally fitted with the often seen bubble-top canopy, it now features a Cabrio top (which was introduced in 1959) which no doubt provides far better ventilation than the original specification.

Messerschmitts have become increasingly popular in recent years as their unique looks and fun to drive nature has caught on. With gas prices rising and parking becoming increasingly scarce, there are few better ways to plan for the future than to look to the past at cars like this. Plus, since it is still technically registerable as a motorcycle, you can use it in the car pool lanes while riding solo!

Saleroom notices

  • Messerschmitt KR-200 Cabrio to be sold without reserve at Bonhams Quail Lodge Sale Friday August 19th to benefit publisher, David Bull. Joseph Freeman, founder and president of Racemaker Press, has instructed Bonhams to offer his Messerschmitt KR-200 without reserve. Proceeds of the sale will now go to benefit fellow publisher David Bull, who was recently injured in an accident. Funds raised will go to offset his medical care. Please note this title is in transit.
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