2021 Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction
c1957 Messerchmitt KR200 3-Wheeler Microcar
This lot is no longer available
Arguably the best known of all the microcars from the 1950s was the Messerschmitt, whose distinctive Kabinenroller (literally “scooter with a cabin”) models with their tandem seating position and domed ‘bubble tops’ gave rise to countless imitators and filled a gap in the marketplace in the period of austerity that followed the war in Europe. Introduced in 1954, Willy Messerschmitt’s new KR200 model was an almost completely new design, with little carried over from the outgoing Kabinenroller, the 175. Designed once more by Fritz Fend, the biggest change was the switch from an outdated and complex tubular frame to a modern monocoque body, within which a new Fichtel & Sachs single-cylinder motor was rubber-mounted into a simple sub-frame. The suspension came in for substantial revision, with hydraulic dampers acting on all three wheels and the signature domed-roof was much improved, with a wraparound screen. Despite the engine’s relatively puny 10hp output, the lightweight structure enabled the KR200 to reach a top speed in excess of 90 km/h. With the ban on aircraft manufacture lifted in Germany in 1956, Messerschmitt lost interest in micro-car production and sold the Regensburg factory to Fend, who joined forces with a brake and hub supplier named Valentin Knott to form the new Fahrzeug-und Maschinenbau GmbH Regensburg (FMR) concern and production continued unabated until the early 1960s. Like all microcars, the Messerschmitts have become increasingly collectible in recent years and owning one of these quirky machines is not only fun but a sound investment as well.