Lot 114: 1958 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet
Introduced in 1953 as the Fend, after its co-designer Fritz Fend, the three-wheeled Messerschmitt microcar was soon being marketed under its manufacturer’s name, the change coinciding with a switch from the original 148cc Fichtel & Sachs engine to a 174cc unit. Sited at the rear, the single-cylinder two-stroke produced a modest 9bhp, enough nevertheless to propel the lightweight and aerodynamic KR175 to around 55mph. The cockpit canopy swung upwards and sideways to enable access to the two-seat interior. Tandem seating and handlebar controls were retained for the 191cc KR200 of 1955, which featured revised bodywork and floor-mounted accelerator and clutch. 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!
This extremely rare Messerschmitt KR201 Cabriolet is one of the most glamorous of all the cabin scooters. The 191cc Fichtel & Sachs engine runs on a raised compression ratio of 8.0:1 compared to the KR200’s 6.3:1, producing an extra 2bhp and endowing the sporting KR201 with a maximum speed of 65mph. In creating the KR201 Cabriolet, the bubble effect of the closed car was lessened and a simple elegance created by the frame-less windscreen and scissor-type hood, while the interior featured handsome black-trimmed upholstery picked out in imitation snake skin. The front seat was adjustable and could be tipped up for convenient entry.
This KR201 previously formed part of the Bruce Weiner Microcar Collection in the USA and before that was in Messerschmitt exponent Les Klinge’s Collection, featuring in the American publication Automobile Quarterly (Vol.11, No.2). The vehicle was purchased - already restored - by the current owner when the Weiner Collection was auctioned in London in March 1997. Comprehensively and professionally renovated, it has been repainted in signal red to an exemplary standard, whilst the brightwork has all been re-plated, including the ultra-rare chromed sports exhaust system. The seats and side panelling were re-trimmed in black grained vinyl while the trim was picked out in genuine snake skin. Hugely desirable and very driveable, this Kabinenroller worthy of close inspection.
Important Sports & Competition Motor Cars|
Bonhams, Goodwood Revival, Chichester
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£13800|
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