1957 Messerschmitt KR201 RoadsterSOLD
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Estimate: $25,000-$35,000 US

Offered Without Reserve

$20,900 Sold

10.2hp, 191cc. Single-cylinder two-stroke engine, four-speed manual transmission with four reverse gears, front and rear suspension via rubber bushings, cable operated mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 80"

It is a little known fact among automobile enthusiasts that the company responsible for producing some of the German forces ĺ most fearsome aircraft during the Second World War also made some of the least imposing automobiles in the 1950s. The company was Messerschmitt, and faced with United Nations imposed sanctions on building aircraft, the company was forced to figure out a way to keep afloat following the war.

Turning to automobile production proved to be a relatively easy task for the German aircraft company. Essentially, Messerschmitt took an airplane cockpit and put it on wheels. Passenger capacity was limited to two, seated tandem under a bubble style canopy top. Entry was via an aircraft style canopy tilt-over, and steering was direct with an aircraft inspired U-shaped handlebar that required approximately 270 degrees to go from lock to lock. The brakes were cable operated, mechanical units, and the front and rear suspension was via rubber bushings. The first Messerschmitt car was the KR175 of which nearly 20,000 examples were made before it was replaced by the KR200 in 1956.

The KR200 engine was a 10 horsepower, single cylinder Fichtel & Sachs 2-stroke unit with a displacement of 191 cubic centimeters. It powered the single rear wheel via a unique transmission that had access to all four gears in both forward or reverse. Being extremely light (507lbs) and aerodynamic, the little three-wheeler could attain an astonishing top speed of 62 miles per hour (theoretically in forward or reverse, so long as it had a small, fearless driver and no passenger) and could average 87.7 miles per gallon!

The KR201, a roadster variant of the KR200 was introduced on June 24, 1957 and was offered only in Signal Red. Mechanically identical to its predecessor, it distinguished itself with a folding roof, a snakeskin interior and much more decorative exterior trim. Only 300 examples would be built, and with only 21 known surviving examples, these tiny three-wheeled roadsters are highly sought-after by micro car collectors around the globe.

The Wiseman Collection 1957 Messerschmitt KR201 Roadster is a very nice restored example. It is mechanically in top form and is reported to be a spirited driver. Although not a concours quality car, this KR201 would be a very fun car to show and drive, as it is like nothing else on the road.

Reference Number 15083

as of 11/5/2007

Car 1957 Messerschmitt KR201 Roadster
VIN 555554