1955 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet Microcar  Chassis no. 55660

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Lot 89
1955 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet Microcar
Coachwork by not UK registered Chassis no. 55660

Sold for £ 9,833 (US$ 12,383) inc. premium
1955 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet Microcar
Coachwork by not UK registered

Chassis no. 55660

*Iconic German 'bubble car'
*Purchased in the USA
*Kept on museum display
*Recently re-commissioned

Footnotes

  • Best known for building one of the most famous fighter aircraft of World War 2 - the Me109 - Messerschmitt was compelled to find alternative products after hostilities ceased, and in the early 1950s began manufacturing the Kabinenroller (cabin scooter) 'bubble car' at its Regensburg factory. Introduced in 1953 as the 'Fend', after its co-designer, aircraft engineer Fritz Fend, the Messerschmitt Kabinenroller microcar was soon being marketed under its manufacturer's name, the change coinciding with a switch from the original's 148cc Fichtel & Sachs engine to a 174cc unit.

    Sited at the rear, the single-cylinder two-stroke motor produced a modest 9bhp, enough nevertheless to propel the lightweight and aerodynamic KR175 to around 55mph. The Plexiglas canopy, so reminiscent of those of Messerschmitt's wartime aircraft, hinged sideways to enable access for the two occupants who sat one behind the other, tandem style. Tandem seating and handlebar controls were retained for the extensively redesigned KR200 of 1955, which featured a 191cc engine, revised bodywork, an improved turning circle and a floor-mounted accelerator and clutch. KR200 Cabriolet and KR201 Roadster versions followed. By reversing the electric starter the KR200's engine could be made to run backwards, thus providing four reverse gears and the hair-raising possibility of 60mph going backwards!

    In 1956 Messerschmitt was permitted to resume aircraft production and lost interest in the Kabinenroller, though production continued at the Regensburg plant, which had been sold to Fend and his business partner, Valentin Knott. Subsequent models carried the diamond-shaped 'FMR' badge, standing for Fahrzeug und Maschienenbau GmbH Regensburg. Production ceased in 1964 after some 30,000 KR200s had been made.

    This early Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet was purchased at auction in the USA in 1994 having previously been donated to a museum by the Rev Walter A Dealey of Dallas, Texas. Since acquisition the car has formed part of the vendor's private collection and has been on museum display again in recent years. Recently re-commissioned, it represents a rare opportunity to acquire one of these charismatic little vehicles.
Contacts
1955 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet Microcar  Chassis no. 55660
1955 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet Microcar  Chassis no. 55660
1955 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet Microcar  Chassis no. 55660
1955 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet Microcar  Chassis no. 55660
1955 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet Microcar  Chassis no. 55660
1955 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet Microcar  Chassis no. 55660
1955 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet Microcar  Chassis no. 55660
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