1960 FMR Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet
Following the Second World War much of the Messerschmitt factory had been destroyed and the company was no longer allowed to manufacture aircraft. In order to survive, they turned their hand to manufacturing other commodities including scooters. Fritz Fend, the designer and manufacturer of the Fend Flizer three wheel invalid carriage, approached Messerschmitt with the ideas of building a kabinroller or “scooter” with a cabin.
This idea soon became reality and the Messerschmitt KR175 was born. Around, 15,000 cars were built before the KR175 evolved into the KR200 in 1955. Whilst a very similar car in many ways the KR200 had many improvements over its predecessor and it was a great success.
The KR200 was powered by a 191cc Fichtel & Sachs air cooled, single cylinder, two-stroke engine positioned in front of the rear wheel, immediately behind the passenger’s seat. This provided a marginal increase in power from the KR175’s 174cc engine.
The aircraft-inspired design is both very unique and very clever and the side opening canopy to allow access to and from the cabin is just brilliant!
Another unique feature of these little cars was that they had no reverse gear as such. By pushing and turning the ignition key (rather than just turning to start) in fact started the car with the engine running backwards. This meant the car could in theory travel as fast backwards as it could forwards!
In 1956 Messerschmitt was allowed to manufacture aircraft again and they lost interest in the microcars. Fend subsequently purchased Messerschmitt’s Regensburg works and the rights to continue to build the little cars. The cars were subsequently known as FMR Messerschmitts. Subsequently, a KR200 convertible model and later a KR201 Roadster were also built, however, it was the four-wheel FMR TG500 (or Tiger) that was the ultimate version.
Some 40,000 of these cars were built in ten years of production through until 1964.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer a 1960 Messerschmitt KR200 Cabriolet.
This car is well known to Oldtimer Australia having been previously sold by us to its current owner some twelve months ago. The car is reluctantly offered for sale due to a change in his circumstances. Prior to this, the car came from a long-term owner who acquired it as a project some twenty years ago. He restored the car and has used it sparingly since, attending the occasional micro car club event and classic car show in and around Sydney. The car’s prior history is not known though it is understood to have been a long-term Sydney car.
Today this car presents and drives fabulously. Whilst it is an older restoration the paintwork is bright and in excellent condition with only the odd minor blemish noticeable on closer inspection. All of the exterior trim, badges, lenses etc look to be correct and also in excellent condition, consistent with the rest of the car. The interior is ‘just lovely’ and all of the switches and gauges are in working order. The steering wheel, which often develops hairline cracks in the ceramic coating on Messerschmitts, is also in good condition. Mechanically the car is ‘on the button’. It starts easily, the engine pulls strongly and it changes up and down the gears quite smoothly. Out on the open road, the little beast keeps up with modern traffic, handles well and stops as one would expect.
In summary, the car runs and drives as it should.
The red exterior with the contrasting white interior (with red piping) is a fabulous colour combination for a Messerschmitt. And whilst all Messerschmitts are ‘very cool’ and highly desirable, there’s no doubt the cabriolet is the most desirable model.
There is a copy of the original owner’s manual that will accompany the car.
You get great value ‘smile per mile’ in a Messerschmitt . . . a unique opportunity!
- FMR Messerschmitt KR200
- 1051 miles